Monday, March 19, 2012

It's been a long few weeks

Just a check in to let you know i am alive. Despite people thinking if you dont blog you must be injured or otherwise not interested in training, this isnt the case. Lately I have just been busy busy busy and barely even getting my normal day to day stuff done, much less blogging.

The past few weeks have been tough, and i mean Life Tough, not " OMG i had to do a track workout and i nearly died" tough. That sorta tough i can do. Life tough is harder. From my hand not fully wanting to be normal, to going to Mayo for a day with my sister ( she is ok), to Chemo and some stuff with Rich it has had me not taking very good care of myself. It's not like i am trying to NOT take care of myself, it just sorta happens that way. Usually it culminates in something like me pulling what i am calling a BETH SHUTT.
I walked into our lower basement closet ( its under the stairs, so you know where this is going) and there is no light. Why we store our wheel bags in there, in the dark is unknown to me. So WHAM i walk into the stair and hit a nail with my forehead. But I am very determined to find some skewers. I feel the blood but i decide not to look in the mirror for fear of freaking out. Rich tells me to wash it, I have blood all over my forehead. I was proud i didnt start crying and melt down. But i did look like a dork at the pool today with my snoopy bandaid, actually i switched it out for a clear water proof one. It's not deep just looks like i poked my head:)

Then i was looking for a pedal wrench that Rich needs and i had a few close calls with cabinets, etc and knew it was time to stop before i really did need stitches. This ends a long week.

My hand has 1-2 stitches that are not dissolving. So i guess your body tries to get them out. So i have a hard time resting on the hoods when riding my road bike. I have a little set up i can use with a corn donut but it still hurts when i hit bumps and my hand cramps bc I have to hold it funny. But i cant complain, I am outside riding. No complaints just wish it wouldnt hurt!

Spending a full day at Mayo was good, we got some answers for my sister, and i felt like the A++ tourguide knowing all the buildings, where to park, where to get Jimmy John's and where all the best bathrooms are. But at the same time it really freaked me out. It brought back some really BAD ( for lack of a better negative vibe term) memories and as much as i love that place for medical care Its sad bc everyone there for the most part is there for something serious. When you think about it, that makes it touching and scarey to be there again.

Then i ran a race this weekend. I had not felt great all week, just tired, and didnt feel recovered and not sleeping great. I have gotten to the point where i am looking for my "nibble" of ambien at night. I dont like taking that, but even 1/4 of a 10 mg pill helps. We had a work dinner friday night that was for Rich and I had to go. IT was not what i would have eaten before a half mary and it was alot of "blahlblahblah" I would not have normally done the night before a race either. I had no wine. And after the race saturday i had a split second of thinking I must have needed wine. Then when i nearly passed out in my sisters kitchen I realized that was not what i needed the night before. I needed salt.

IT as hot and humid. And the course was deceptively challenging with a mostly downhill out with a tailwind and a mostly uphill back with a headwind. I Ran that entire thing in Zone 4. Yup. Maybe that will get me out of some interval work to come, but honestly that was how hard i was working to keep a 7:15-7:20 pace. And i knew around mile 4 i was not going to be able to do that. I eased it back a bit and at the turn around the hills hit and the wind hit and it was a total sufferfest. My toes cramped around mile 8, my quad starting to talk to me around mile 8 too. The only other time i have had toe cramps, you know, the one's that wake you up at night when they get STUCK? those. Was in Kansas last year and as i ran and tried to not blowup, I had the " LIGHT BULB" go off.

Guess who needs salt? Me! Guess who had no clue she would need salt in March at an 8 am race? ME!
I had plenty of Kcals on board, just not enough Na+ so i shot a powergel ( brought it just in case as i had a hand held flask i knew i would ditch) and i think that Powergel and its CRAMP busting powers got me over the finish much slower than the way out, but still within 3 minutes of my flat and cool race in April in Naples FLA. Hard to swallow that run as i felt much better trained than i ran, but i also felt like those last 4 miles were like the IM. So guess i did what i could. As I left the race site there were at least 2 ambulances so i know i didnt hurt myself. Walked to my sisters about a mile away then got sorta woozy so she gave me some gatorade. I had given my beer coupons away:)

As much as that Half was hard and I kept telling myself to be Brave, to not giveup even tho i felt like my legs were LEAD, it will serve me i know. It wasnt THAT hot but the humidity was up and 70's and humid is a change from 40-50 even. It tells me what i need to work on with the nutrition for my upcoming hot races, and i am determined to give the Liquid shot one more try bc it just sits better in my stomach than the powergels, But it will mean some playing around with Salt Stick. Scarey to think i dont have this down yet. and it is EARLY I know we arent acclimated!

We head west thursday, after rich gets unplugged from chemo. I really need a vacation. A vacation to take care or me, to do what i want to do, and not what everyone else needs. I need a vacation to just decompress, not worry, to not worry about whether my mother in law knows where we are every minute, and after a week of that I get to go play with my JHC pals. I cant wait.

Sunday, March 04, 2012

Weekend Update

And not nearly as fun as you get on SNL, but here goes:
In no particular order or anything, excuse the randomness at times.
-I can tell I am running more bc my toes are getting all beat up again. Toenails are starting to get ready for the summer months i guess.

-Saw Hugo last night, so fun. see it. I loved it. Ate a buffalo burger too, that was good.

-I am not Catholic and while I grew up Presbyterian, I never really did anything for Lent. Other than celebrate Easter:) But Rich is a strong Catholic and when i met him he had given up dessert, alcohol, and a few other things but I was totally confused by all this "Lets deprive ourselves," stuff. So its fun now that he has evolved and maybe i have too, to try to include less deprivation and more "what can i do to give back or share more of me," in honor of God. So less about the giving up and more about the giving back.
I have my theory on the giving up stuff, I think people forget why they are giving things up, its not about you being strong and being better bc of it, its about God, but anyways.
So.. I made a few notes, bc I am more accountable that way and here is how i am doing:

1) Practice Centering Prayer 20 min 1x day ....scorecard says 100%
2) No Wine during the week, just drink more water and Kombucha! ...scorecard 100%
3) Worry less....scorecard...this is hard to grade but i would give myself a subjective B+ or 88%
4) Love more, again hard to grade but that includes loving myself and caring for myself so again B+
5) Sorry but this one is a deprivation. I dont need em i dont think they are that great, but NO Girl Scout cookies! Ugh. 100%

So no i am not perfect and I still eat dessert but not GSC. And you know the less you eat that stuff the more dont want to eat that. Doesnt mean i didnt buy 2 get one free Salted Nut Roll, now you are talking.
And Dark Chocolate? I can do that :) so all is not lost and i am not crazy!

As for the Centering Prayer or Contemplative Prayer its all a part of me trying to take some time for me. I realized with the help of my acupuncurist that i am worrying alot, and i am projecting into the future too much and I let things spiral. I think with Rich its been really hard for me to even realize i am doing this. But little things set me off. And so at the end of the day I try to re-gather all that I have given to everyone else in my life, from my job in a health care setting, to my nurturing skills for my family, to even just not driving like a nutcase aggressive driver. :) haha, kidding. But really I need to get a grip and I am workinghard to not think so much and not worry so much. This pretty much started when i had the hand surgery.

-Hand update:) YAY hand is good . I know you want a picture of a random looking scar, but not today. It still hurts like the dickens if i grab sometthing  or someone grabs my hand. Gripping the bike isnt so fun either but at least its healing and it wont rip apart descending Lemmon. ( ohjoy) but i think its going to hurt for a bit. Lotsa nerves in there.

But i think that, plus Chemo. and Rich and some family stress andand then i just had one thing after the next. REally want to know?
Random high heel wedding led to quad or ??? strain. couldnt walk for a few days.

Ran in the snow and ice =random peroneal or maybe Exernsor Digitorum Longus shinsplints( side of your shin) issue, didnt run for a few days. hurt to walk even.

Left shoulder tension=LATS ARE SO TIGHT I AM GOING TO DIE. Serratus too. Using my lats is good, but heck. and yes when i had that surgery i babied that arm...time to get back to the Scap strength.
When i dont do strength my humeral head ( shoulder bone) sits forward, and it gives me anteior shoulder pain. Answer: my chiro gently puts it back and viola. This is all thanks to instability in my Lft shouder when i fell off my bike way before i knew all of you:) I got my wheel stuck in the light rail tracks. Popped it out like a champ, but then went airborne and fell on my shoulder, ouch.

Took a day off, did my strength, did some weird rotation that made a facet get irriated. Bothersome but still not good. Facet ----wings off your vertebrae that your paraspinals and some of the tiny spinal roators attach too.

So I sure hope I made it thru this rough patch, Nothing kept me down for more than a few days and the rational Julia knows all this stuff is just time, nothing to sweat and it is niggles from stress ( not training stress). I didnt really miss much working out, maybe a day, and that is truly bc I have a coach who i am in touch with daily ( sorry Jen) with stuff like this and she works with me to ( talk me off the ledge) to rearrange and refocus. I am not a pro, i say that but sometimes i think i forget that means its ok to miss a swim. ( dont worry Stine i wont tell Jen you told me i could miss a swim)

 The big picture is months off although i did find myself in the basement riding the IM St. Croix course saturday wiht the heat cranked thinking WHAT HAVE I DONE?? The beast is not the bad part, its the rest of the course that killled me. If you have done Dairyland Dare, well that is what the St Croix Course is like.

Ok i think i have babbled enough for you to know that I am here, I am alive, and if you are having a late FEB that has made you cry, well then joine the team. but the pity party is over and the new outlook is feeling good. Lots of work done this weekend and hopefully a 10 mile race next weekend.

Most importantly Rich is nearly 6 mos thru his treatment/chemo. For those of you who asked or wonder, we dont know how long he is doing chemo. It's been a rough thing to hear, when everyone else is saying they have one more or are almost done. We know for sure its another 6 mos, then after that I think everything depends on CT scans. The fear is if they stop it will come back. Such is metastatic cancer.
He remains totally upbeat and stronger than I am wth this stuff. I m also starting to cut back the time i go down to Chemo with him. It's like race spectating. It's his thing and the spectating can be tough and tiring:) He had hoped to get off the Coumadin but friday he showed me his arm and he has the Incredible Hulk arm back again so i suspect we are headed for another ultrasound next week:(

Keep on praying or doing whatever you do!! Thanks for reading, sorry i cant give you a coffee for all your time!