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Ups and Downs and Rainy Days

amarie2009

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             I last posted September 6th. That Sunday I ran a half marathon, and then started Master’s Degree classes in Nutrition on the following Monday. Once that started I was writing a ton for my classes, working full time and still running. Loop time dwindled to nothing more than an occasional quick visit to read and comment. It’s been a busy and challenging almost 4 months since then. More downs than ups but given what could be it’s hard to justify complaining. (But oh!) Lots of rain though.

            The half marathon was wet, wet, wet – run in the pouring rain and wind of the remnants of a gulf coast hurricane. I didn’t run it for speed on the hilly course – instead I aimed for full marathon goal pace, which I did successfully finishing in 2:14. I did not feel super optimistic however about this being possible for full distance, but I still had until late November to train, so there was time.

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Parked and hiding from the rain while I wait for the race to start.
 

            Classes started and I got very busy. 6 hours of graduate work while working full time (with 40 minute commute each way on average) and training for a marathon didn’t leave me much time for anything else. Those graduate classes also meant a lot of time writing on the computer so when I didn’t need to be writing for classes I couldn’t get myself to do it for any other reason. So I didn’t bloop. My classes (Life Cycle Nutrition and Nutrition Science) were challenging but went well. Usually the big due dates each week were the same for both classes but I got A’s in both so I met the challenge. I don’t know yet what the work will look like for the next set of classes. 1 trimester of classes down, 5 to go…if all goes as planned I’ll be done September 2020.

            Next up was my first trail half. It was in Kirksville, MO where I went to college. I got to spend the weekend with a friend who also ran the race. Overall it was a really fun weekend. I had been running all summer at least once a week on trails to prepare. Something I didn’t do was run on trails in the rain. I also didn’t buy trail shoes to wear for just one race since they’d been ok on the trails so far. I don’t know if either of these things would have prevented what happened next, but they might have helped. Yet again my race day was pouring rain (no wind this time). The trails were beautiful, but super slick. I fell twice, but didn’t feel any direct injuries from that. However nearly every step on the 11.5 miles of the half that were on the single track trail I slipped and slid. There was so much sideways stress and general instability that I’m not used to. After the relatively easy paced road half that I ran in 2:14, this race took 3:03. It was a hilly race, but almost every bit of that time was because much of the time I couldn’t run because of how slick it was. I expected to be sore in the days after. Initially it wasn’t bad, and I actually felt better than I expected. The 3 hour drive home the next day was uncomfortable, but not terrible. My neck was actually more sore than anything else at this point. (Probably from driving since I hate driving and I tend to hold on to the steering wheel super tightly) I didn’t really take a break from marathon training, just making this a cut back week so I continued to run as planned throughout the following week. My back ached a little but not too badly. Until Friday’s run. A mile in I knew something was different. In denial I kept going for another half mile (away from home!) until I knew this felt a lot like something I was familiar with. But I still had to get home. I made it home, and I knew I was probably going to miss some time running. My SI joint was angry again. Hopefully not as bad as last time but it wasn’t something I’d be able to run through. Despite the final result I’d really like to do this race again. If it’s not raining! This race was super well run, the course was beautiful and super well groomed. It has lots of up and downs and its share of roots and rocks, but is still seems like a good race for all levels of trail runner.

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            Many chiropractor visits and much downtime later, my full marathon came and went and I didn’t run it. (Actually, it rained for that race too, plus there was a fire in the hotel I would have stayed in, so my friend had to find somewhere else to stay that turned out to be a dump, plus it was cold…it would have been quite the adventure) I was only up to running 6 miles the weekend of the race. This was another DNS for me. Not quite as crushing as the first one but that may partly be because of everything else going on. Since then I am finally back to running relatively normally although I’m still trying to be good about my core exercises that I was given *which I still need to do today. I’m slower again. Frustrating. But small problems.

            During all of this there was another challenge in my life. Just before my trail half I noticed my cat Izzie had a wound/injury to her inner left rear leg. A visit to the vet resulted in an antibiotic shot. The wound healed, but then came back. We went around this cycle several times until earlier this month, when it was determined the infection might be coming from the metal implant she got 8 years ago when she broke that leg. We were referred to the same specialist she saw back then. It took 2 more weeks to actually get in to see that vet. They did x-rays, and it wasn’t the implant. But that meant it was still a resistant bacterial infection. Normally they would prescribe pills but giving Izzie pills is nearly impossible. (Even for vets!) So after some discussion they reluctantly prescribed an injectable antibiotic that can cause kidney damage. I have to do the injections, we’re halfway through now. I hate doing it, and I don't think I'm doing a great job, but I don't know if I could get her to actually swallow 2 weeks of pills. It looks better I think, but because of the nature of the wound (it’s small, but a puncture) it takes a while to heal and doesn’t really look a lot different until right before it closes completely. Her follow up is a week from Monday. I will say that through all of this she’s otherwise been fine and acted normally. Cats hide pain well, but she’s never seemed sick at all. I’m trying not to be anxious after practically tearing myself apart over this (and classes and etc) but it’s hard. Even when it heals I will have a hard time relaxing since the skin has healed over before even though the infection was apparently still lingering.

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I feel fine. And I really like this ornament. It's mine now.

            Next up…the new trimester for school, fundraising, marathon training, trying to be better about keeping the house clean, I could go on. My books are on the way, I still need to make the tuition payment. I need to get started on my new round of fundraising for Team in Training/Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Lord willing, I’m planning on running the New Jersey Marathon in late April. (I hear there might be a few loopsters planning on being there…) I will try to write at least a really short bloop sooner than a post New Jersey RR, but I make no promises…

 

 

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41 minutes ago, CompulsiveRunner said:

Wow - you did great in your classes! I remember how stressed you were at the start. Way to power through! Congratulations. 

I stayed about that stressed about the classes, but it got worse dealing with the injury and Izzie's issue. Hopefully all of that is behind me now. (Well Izzie's not better yet, and my classes start again in a little over a week, but at least I'm not injured at the moment!)

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Sorry to hear about the marathon DNS - I had one of those recently too so really empathize!  I also get sore from driving after races - usually my arms and shoulders.  Your cat is super adorable!

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Seems like 2018 has been challenging for a lot of us. It probably doesn't seem like it, but I think you've done a good job balancing all the stress and activity you have going on.

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+1 Dave. Here's to a fresh start for all of us in 2019!

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