Friday, October 30, 2009

A VERY Short Run

Wednesday night I got in another trainer ride on my bike. I made it 40 minutes, at a very low cadence, with minimal shortness of breath. I felt pretty proud of myself and got off the trainer with a shit eating grin on my face. I was just so happy to have gotten in a little bit of exercise, not that it is really helping me in my training process, but it was more of a mental thing. I felt like I had done something.

Thursday we got up and there was about 16 inches of snow on the ground. Whoohoo, snow day! Rick had taken a vacation day from work and my office closed down for the day, so we leashed up the dog and took her down to the park behind our house. Check out these pictures.

The Park behind our house

Walking to the Park

Look at that snow in our chairs!


Rick ran on our treadmill Thursday afternoon and I eyeballed him with envy throughout his run. I hate running on the treadmill, but at this point, any run would be acceptable. I finally decided that I would get on that damn thing and do a short run, just to see where I am at with the whole running thing at this point. The clots are still in my lungs; apparently it will take a good three to four weeks for them to dissolve. The doctors have told me to just take it easy and just do what I feel like I am capable of, which is a little frustrating because I want to know when these clots are gone. There is no follow up process to check the status of the clots or my lung damage unless I go back in and get a CT on my lungs, which is expensive. I am just supposed to keep working with my hematologist to make sure my blood is clotting properly and let everything else heal on its own.

Anyway, I got on the treadmill and made it a little over a mile and it took me almost 13 minutes to get the first mile in. Now on my last run test, I clocked a 6:46 minute mile, so it doesn’t take a brain surgeon to tell me that I still have some lung damage in there. I got off the treadmill and I must admit that I was a little disappointed and frustrated. I am obviously not ready to run yet, so I’ll just spin on my bike and give my lungs a chance to heal a little more.

I hope everyone has a great weekend and good luck to those racing. I will be catching myself up on all of your blog posts this weekend!

Monday, October 26, 2009

I Won My First Giveaway!

My exercise for the weekend.



I won my very first giveaway! Let me tell you, I sign up for a lot and I mean A LOT of giveaways and contests, and I never win ANYTHING, so I am extremely excited to have won the giveaway over at Miles of Kate. She was giving away a year long subscription to Fitness magazine to two lucky bloggers. Yeah me!!

I was feeling a lot better on Sunday, so I thought perhaps I would get some exercise in, since I haven’t worked out in two weeks. I, of course, wanted to run, but I am still dealing with a lot of shortness of breath, so that didn’t seem like a good option. I instead put my bike on the bike trainer and got a nice easy spin in while watching NFL Sunday football; my team, the KC Chiefs (yea, no snide comments) were on. I didn’t have any resistance on the bike and my cadence was really low, think 50-60 rpm, but it felt great to move my legs. I got in a good 35 minute spin with minimal shortness of breath. Actually, I think the shortness of breath was due more to all of the cursing that I was doing at the Chiefs, than the exercise. Yes, I am one of “those” people that think yelling at the TV screen can actually make a difference in my team’s performance. I finally decided to get off the bike and turn the TV off before the Chiefs gave me a heart attack and I landed back in the hospital. They are so terrible at this point, nothing can help them except to maybe fast forward a few years down the road. It felt GREAT to move a little bit. I realize that I need all of the rest that I can get, but I have to think that a little bit of exercise does me well too.

I am going to just play it by ear the rest of the week, but I hope to get a few more spins in on the bike trainer and maybe my first run in this weekend. The clots in my lungs should be starting to dissolve (they said two to three weeks), so as long as my shortness of breath goes away, I should be good to go!

I have a lot of catching up to do on everyone’s blogs, so I will be doing that over the next couple of days. Happy Training!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

FYI

This is just an FYI for my family. In order to keep this a true running blog, I have decided to create more of a family blog where I will keep you updated on my progress with my pulmonary embolism and post family pics, etc. You can hop on over to my new blog here. Click on the word here and it will take you there directly or type in http://taralovescolorado.blogspot.com. Don't worry, the layout looks pretty boring since it is, of course, all black. I will spruce it up a bit!

I will hopefully get back to running in the next couple of weeks. Stay tuned! I need everyone's help on finding a new marathon to sign up for!!!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

A Walking Post!

Check out my in home pharmacy. Notice the red biohazard container to the right there....pretty sweet huh.



Now...I know, sit down, try to hold in the excitement people I'm getting to my walking post. I just wanted to share photos of my drugs with you first.

Walking is about the only activity that I can do right now (see last post if you have no idea what I am talking about), so I was thankful to get out and enjoy the warm Colorado sunshine on Sunday. I gathered up all of my gear. Dog, leash, poop bag, and yes, I took my Garmin. Why? Because I missed it. I walked down down to our neighborhood park for a little dog chuck it action. What a gorgeous afternoon!

The walk was great; this no running thing is not so great. It's hard to believe last weekend I ran a 20 miler and this weekend I could barely get up the steps without breathing heavily.

Stats:
Distance= 1 mile, Average pace = 20 minutes per mile (I rocked the shit out of that walk), Average HR = Beating (no I didn't strap on my HR monitor....I thought about it), Average dog craps scooped along the way = two. There is just something about being out in nature that gets that dogs bowels going.

I had to work in poop somehow in this post. I can still talk about bodily functions since this is a running post, even though there will be no running for another two weeks.

In all seriousness, I wanted to thank everyone for their kind comments about my recent health issues. I really appreciate all of the support that was sent my way. I'm just taking it one day at a time and taking very good care of myself.

A couple of people asked what caused the pulmonary embolism. I am working with a hemotologist to find out that answer, but I do know that both my mother and my grandmother have had clotting issues in the past, so genetics played a major role. I was also switched to an estrogen based birth control this past January, so he thinks that the hormone estrogen is another factor. We are doing more lab work to further research the cause. In the meantime, I am starting a 6 month treatment of blood thinners and I have been on a Lovenox shot since last week. I give the shot to myself. Eeek.

I did end up back in the ER on Sunday night due to extreme pain in my back. Aparently this is normal and I could have this for as long as my lungs are healing. Shit. My hemotologist told me that the pain was actually a good sign because it means the clots are dissolving and moving to other areas. So pain = good. I don't care, bring it, I got a perscription for some narcotics at the ER, so dissolve and move you little bastards. I'm ready to run again! I truely believe that I am doing so well with this whole mess because I am a runner and my body is so healthy. I think that it would have been a lot worse otherwise.

Congratulations to everyone who raced last weekend!!

Madison and a friend carved pumpkins on Saturday. Check them out, they did a great job and had a lot of fun!




Saturday, October 17, 2009

Life Has Thrown Me a Lemon....

But I plan on throwing it right back.

Wednesday morning I woke up to intense pain in my chest and back on the right side. Very uncomfortable, I tossed and turned for the rest of the night, but I had a hard time falling back to sleep. I finally got up to go to work and felt like I had some fluid in my chest. I coughed it up and noticed that there was a little blood. The Colorado air is dry and unforgiving and I often have a few early morning nosebleeds, so I did what any normal runner would do, I ignored it and hoped that it would go away. Bad move. A couple of hours later I was in the urgent care doubled over in pain and bawling like a baby. They ran a few tests on me and then sent me to the emergency room after a clot test came back positive. I had a CT on my lungs and the diagnosis came back as Bilateral Pulmonary Embolism. I had a blood clot that had traveled up from my legs to my lungs. The good news is that it was a massive clot that had broken apart and settled in multiple little clots in both of my lungs, so I am alive. The bad news is that my first marathon in San Antonio is out. Yes, the marathon that I have been training for and I have been so excited about; done. Trust me, I have asked a total of three doctors so far whether or not I will be able to make it and they have all said no.

I may make an appointment with another one, just to see if I can get a better answer.

Along with the PE, I had lung infarction, which is lung tissue death due to lack of oxygen. The docs told me "NO RUNNING" for at least two to three weeks. What? I didn't hear you?

Anyway, I spent a few days in the hospital and was released yesterday. I spent a night in the ICU and a night in cardiac care. The hospital was really nice, better then some of the hotels that I have stayed in. They even had gourmet room service. Scallops, steak, prime rib, seared salmon. The second day that I was there, I didn't eat anything due to vomiting. I'm not sure what was wrong with the dude in the next room, but he spent most of the day hacking and coughing up phlegm and snot rockets. Well I matched him one for one. He'd hack up a lung, I'd go make horrible retching vomit sounds. My daughter came to visit me and I greeted her with a wave as I ran to the bathroom to throw up. Not to be outdone, the guy next door started in on the snot rockets. Madison looked a little ashen faced and left soon after.

Friday morning I woke up and was ready to eat something off this gourmet menu! Room service opened at 7 and I had the phone in my hand ready to order huevos rancheros with jack stack cheese and vegetarian green chili sauce.

Sounds like a heart attack, but remember, I was on the cardiac floor.

I called and they said that my doctor had switched me to a bland diet. DAMM IT! I had a garden omelet and special K instead. I got my omelet and it looked sooo damn good, I was salivating and ready to take my first bite and that bastard in the next room starts with his snot rockets.

Ok dude, you win, I thought as I reached for my Special K cereal.

So I was finally released and I'm really sad and disappointed that I will have to postpone the first marathon, but I'll be back. I did take a moment to step back and appreciate the fact that I have such amazing friends and family and I'm glad I'm still around to enjoy them. My husband is one of the most generous people that I know and I am so glad to have such a close relationship with him. My daughter is a typical teen, but she shows that she cares in her own way and I am thankful for her. I will take care of myself and heal my body and sign up for another marathon in the spring.

So, I've got an appointment with my new blood doctor on Monday and I'm gonna ask him if I can run the half marathon in San Antonio instead. Plane tickets have been bought, hotels booked, and I have a number, so what the hell. He'll think I'm nuts, but I am nuts, so at least we will be on the same page with that one.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Do you Ice?


Well, I’m glad to see from all of my comments that no one was grossed out on my post yesterday. I think that Jesse put it best when he said: And yes, as a running blogger you are allowed to talk about any and all bodily functions that occur immediately before, during, or after a run.” Good times people!! However, in light of this, I feel like I should be honest about my pace. The pace that I quoted did not include the “bathroom break”, so I would have actually been a little slower on my pace. Not much mind you; I didn’t sit out there with a magazine or anything, but it still would have been a little slower. I realize that I will not be able to turn off my timing chip, so I need to start leaving the Garmin on when I take potty breaks, so that I can get a true time on my marathon. Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to pause the timing chip every time you stopped to venture into the porta potty? I realize that you would get a few cheaters who would pause it and then not turn it back on and then run a sub 3 hour marathon instead of a 6 hour. How about a pausing mat in every porta potty that would pause the chip when you go in and turns it back on when you go out?
Ok, well you can see that I have way too much time on my hands during my rest week. I actually feel pretty good and my legs feel great, which is nice. Immediately after my 20 miler on Sunday, I drove home and the first thing that I did was dump a whole ice maker full of ice cubes into a bathtub of cold water. Rick and Madison looked at me like I was insane as I proceeded to climb into the tub in a sweatshirt, coat, hat, mittens, and bikini briefs. I yelped a little, but my legs soon got used to the cold and sat and shivered for the next 10 minutes. Yes, I’m a fan of Cryotherapy or cold therapy. Are you a fan? If not, you should be. Cold Therapy constricts blood vessels and decreases metabolic activity, which reduces swelling and tissue breakdown. Once the skin is no longer in contact with the cold source, the underlying tissues warm up, causing a return of faster blood flow, which helps return the byproducts of cellular breakdown to the lymph system for efficient recycling by the body.

Please note: I obviously stole this last sentence from a website; I didn’t make it up. I’m not that smart.

Yep, I truly believe that this is the reason why my legs feel so good. I didn’t ice after my 18 miler and my legs felt like crap for a week. Also, make yourself something hot to sip on while searing your skin with frostbite like hot chocolate, tea, or coffee. Don’t be like me, I sat in the tub of ice and enjoyed a nice, cold, diet Mountain Dew. I told you I wasn’t that smart.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Stick a Fork in Me, I'm done with my 20 Miler.

I did my 20 miler yesterday. I had planned on taking a post long run picture of me, but my hand was way too tired to set the self timer and I was too tired to ask anyone to take a picture of me. I amazed myself by getting off the couch to feed the dog. I am so thankful that my husband and my daughter are pretty self-sufficient otherwise they wouldn’t have eaten last night. I am glad the 20 miler is done because training is officially wearing me out. I did 18 miles last weekend at a 9:13 pace, then an additional 14 miles throughout last week, two bike sessions, some strength training, and a little “getting to know my local pool” session. Yesterday I did the 20 miler at average pace of 9:39 and average HR of 175. Stick a fork in me, I’m done.

The temperature was hovering around 11 degrees when I woke up on Sunday. The high for the day was only going to be 41, so I thought “the hell with it, I HAVE to get in 20 miles today, no ifs and or buts so might as well go ahead and get it over with”. I did the usual pre long run preparations and drove over to the trailhead. I was doing the trail that I hated today. I have always had crappy runs on this course, but it is gravel, so it was best for the stupid foot that has been bothering me. One of these days, I will have surgery on the foot to correct the 1st metatarsal and I shouldn’t have anymore problems. Or so says my podiatrist surgeon.

Anyway, most of the run was uneventful, just tried to keep a good pace and work on my marathon fueling. I was running fairly slowly to start with because there was places where there was snow on the trail, but I got in a good 7 mile warm up and then tried to hit my goal pace for the next 8 miles or so. My legs felt like lead, so I just tried to hold it as best as I could. Around mile 14 or 15, I started having some stomach issues. Now this would be the very first time EVER during a run that I have had cramping, so I tried to ignore it and hoped that it would go away, which was probably not a good idea. There were no porta potties on the trail and the trail itself was fairly busy, so I tried to scope out a “homemade potty” should I need it. There’s a little creek that runs along most of the trail and at mile 16, I scampered down the hill to the creek. I have heard a saying that you are not a “real” runner until you’ve “done some business” on one of your runs, so I congratulated myself on my initiation. I proudly clawed my way back up the creek bed in order to get back to the trail and startled a couple of runners in the process. They probably weren’t used to seeing people crawling and cursing their way out of a creek bed. I was dirty, tired, and my stomach was still cramping, but at least I only had 4 more miles to go. I finally hit that 20 mile mark and I asked myself: “Can you go 6.2 more miles?” My answer was “Yes, I can!” It might have been slow, but I would have done it. I am encouraged and almost ready for the marathon. I just hope that this whole stomach issue thing doesn’t become the norm. I was trying a new fuel drink, so I won’t be using that anymore.

My daughter will be so embarrassed that I am talking about such things on my blog, but from my experience, most running bloggers totally get it.

The rest of the week is rest week. Short runs and just a few cross training sessions. ONLY 33 MORE DAYS TO GO!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Don't Forget...It's Boobie Awareness Month!


Breast Cancer Awareness... Go have those boobs checked out and stay healthy! Pass the message on to your mothers, sisters, daughters, aunts, cousins, friends, and even your enemies. Because the worst enemy is Breast Cancer.

A little boob humor.

Can anyone tell me what store sells this mirror?




Breast cancer is a disease in which malignant(cancer) cells form in the tissues of the breast. It is considered a heterogeneous disease—differing by individual, age group, and even the kinds of cells within the tumors themselves. Obviously no woman wants to receive this diagnosis, but hearing the words "breast cancer" doesn't always mean an end. It can be the beginning of learning how to fight, getting the facts and finding hope.

Women in the United States get breast cancer more than any other type of cancer except for skin cancer. It is second only to lung cancer as a cause of cancer death in women.

Each year it is estimated that nearly 200,000 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer and more than 40,000 will die. Approximately 1,700 men will also be diagnosed with breast cancer and 450 will die each year. The evaluation of men with breast masses is similar to that in women, including mammography.

(Info from www.nationalbreastcancer.org)

So...go check those boobs!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Feeling Good Again.

Ahhhh...relaxing (Finally) after the long run.



18 miles-DONE. Well, actually it was only 17.34 since I was only supposed to run for 2 hours and 40 minutes. The thought crossed my mind to go ahead and finish off the 18 miles, but my legs threatened to leave and never come back, so I went ahead and stopped at 17.34 miles. Average pace 9.13 and Average HR 174. It feels good to have that over with, now I just have to conquer the 20 miler next weekend.

I felt good about the run and I haven’t felt this way about my last two long runs, so I definitely needed that confidence boost. I did a nice easy paced warm up and then ran almost eight miles at my marathon goal pace, then took a nice easy paced cool down. I stopped at mile 10 to take a gel, hit a rest room, and refill my water and the thought slammed into me that I still had 8 miles left. When I looked at it in that perspective, it seemed a rather daunting task to me, so I quickly told myself to just take it one mile at a time. I didn’t want to get caught up in the negative thought process that would kill my run. Isn’t it funny how the mind works? I had actually planned on running on a totally different trail, one that was gravel and would have been better for my feet, but I switched trails because I have had two bad long runs on this particular trail. I chose a trail that was all concrete, the whole 18 miles, but I have always had great runs on this trail. I needed to feel good about this weeks run, so that I can enter next week’s 20 miler in a good frame of mind.

Family Update: This weekend was homecoming at Madison’s school. It seemed like an all day event. Hair, makeup, last minute dress alterations…whew, I hate to see what prom is going to be like. She had a couple of her friends over to the house so that they could all get ready. They sat around thinking about getting ready for an hour before they actually got ready. Then Rick drove them to a restaurant so that Madison and eleven of her friends could have dinner before they went to the dance. I stayed behind to cook our dinner, but we both went to pick them up and drop them off at the dance. I hear that it was a great time! Check out her pics.

Before and after photos of the hotties.




Friday, October 2, 2009

Short and Sweet!

This is my all time essential running item. My black and white Brooks visor. I cannot run without it!
First things first, there’s a great giveaway over at Katie's Miles of Kate blog. Go check her out AFTER you read my post. She’s giving away a full year subscription to Fitness magazine. Now, I have never bought this magazine (I’m way too damn cheap), but I got online this morning to check it out. First thing that I noticed was the 2009 Beauty Products Awards. I am a big fan of product. I have more types of shampoo, makeup, gels, mousses, foot lotion that is supposed to make your feet pretty (doesn’t work don’t bother) then the average woman should have. I just love products. So right there, the magazine was raised a couple of notches in my eyes. Then I noticed a picture of cute little Lindsey Price and her fitness routine and I just felt inadequate, so I clicked off. I didn’t want to look at Lindsey Price in her little workout outfit when I was still in mis-matched pajamas and toothpaste stains on my shirt.
So, go sign up for that giveaway girls (and you too Jamoosh, should you be so inclined).

Next stop is my training. I ran hills last night. I had to pick a hill that was between 1-2 minutes long and run up, run back down, and then run tempo for two minutes. I had to do this six times. I’m not sure if it was the weather or what, but I felt amazing. It actually could have been the free range chicken that I had the night before. This is the first meat that I have eaten in over a month. I had talked with my coach last week and we had agreed that I would add a little meat back into my diet, especially for key runs, to see if this helped with my energy level. I had made the drastic change in my diet mid-training and my “spunk” had totally tanked. I have an eighteen miler on my schedule for the weekend and I will eat a little fish or chicken the night before. After the marathon, I plan on becoming a full time vegetarian.

That’s all folks, short sweet, and to the point. I hope everyone has a great weekend of training. I know a couple of fellow bloggers out there are racing this weekend…..GOOD LUCK!!! Can’t wait to hear how you all did!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Happy October 1st!



Swine Flu has officially invaded my workplace. An employee left work sick the other day and as soon as we got word that it was swine flu, her office door was shut and hazmat was called. Not really, but the way we all reacted, they might as well have been. Hand sanitizers and Lysol are out in full force. I associate the smell of Lysol with the bathroom, so our office smells like one giant smelly toilet. If you so much as sneeze or cough, you best turn and run because you may get sprayed with the Lysol. So what if it gets in your eyes; everything is fair in love and war and swine flu. I have heard through the grapevine that the policy is that if you come down with this flu; you will not be allowed to return to work for 7 days. Seven days? Sounds like a damn mini vacation to me. Anyway, I have taken precaution as well. I’m sucking zinc tabs like they are candy and I have vats of hand sanitizers. I’m thinking of going out and buying one of those medical face masks. I do not want the swine flu; I do not want any flu. Keep your freaking germs away people; I have a marathon to train for!!

Training has been going well. I have been doing a ton of strength and core work this week; trying to get my muscles strong and less wimpy. My coach also added swimming to my schedule for Monday. She kept asking me if I wanted to add it as cross training and I keep putting her off. I suppose she finally got tired of my waffling around and just added it anyway. I, of course, didn’t do it and opted to do core work and spinning instead. In my defense, I told her that the only swimsuit that I owned was a string bikini, which does not work well while swimming laps. Not that I would know, but I can only imagine.
Tuesday, I did run drills at the track, working on form and cadence. Last night I did another thirty minutes of spinning on my bike trainer and then put in thirty minutes of strength work on the stability ball. Oh….my arms are sore today, which is a good thing, but goes to show you how wimpy they are. If the stability ball can get them, imagine what some weights would do. I shudder in horror.
I will be doing an hour run tonight and I will be working on hill work. I really wish that I had time to go out to the mountains, but those trails are too far away for a work week, so I’ve got another good hill in mind. I’ve got to climb the hill 6 times, 3 at a comfortable pace and then 3 at a hard pace. In between hills, I need to “cool down” in zone three or tempo pace. I’m tired just thinking about this workout.

Family Update: Well this weekend is Homecoming at Madison’s high school! I will be sure to post the pictures of her dress. She has been going to activities all week after school for spirit week. I asked her if they were making a float and she looked at me like I was crazy. She had no idea what high school float was. Doesn’t any one do this anymore? Remember building floats on top of a trailer in high school and then having them in a homecoming parade? Is this too old school?

I've been so busy this week that I will be, once again, catching up on everyones blog at some point today. Happy training!