The Big Day

Tomorrow morning at 9:50 I am scheduled for the steroid injection in my neck to help with the nerve the bone spur or disc is pressing on.  I found out at my last doctor’s appointment that I will be put under general anesthesia for the injection, and I’ve been having second thoughts ever since.  The numbness is annoying and at times it hurts, but is it worth going through with all this?  General anesthesia isn’t something to be taken lightly, so I’ve been mulling that question in my mind over and over again.

The numbness started back at the beginning of May and progressively got worse until I could no longer ride my bike because it was causing so much pain.  When I first quit riding, the pain & numbness stayed the same, but in the last month and a half, they have gotten less persistent.  Which makes me question if I should just wait it out.

I really want to get back on my bike though, and every time I think, “maybe it’s done being numb & hurting,” it somehow reminds me, and it did so last night while I sat on the bleachers watching my daughter at her practice, and it proceeded to remind me during my sleep last night as well, so I will be going ahead with the injection in the morning.

I’ve been told that it should improve pretty quickly, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I might be able to make the last evening group rides of the season next week, probably wishful thinking.  We shall see………….

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Injury update

Since my last update, I went for an MRI on my neck and got the results.  The MRI showed that I had a bone spur on my C6 vertebra that was pressing on the nerve that goes down my arm as it exits the spinal canal.  It also showed some other minor disc issues, but the bone spur is what seems to be causing the issue with arm numbness and pain.   The orthopedist said a bone spur in that area is actually pretty common, and if we did MRI’s on everyone over 40 (which I’m not), then we’d see it on over half the images, but since I’ve had a pretty active life it’s not unusual at my age.  For lack of a better word, he said it was basically some arthritis forming.  Yeah, yeah, just go ahead and say I’m getting old doc.  THANKS!  He thinks that with a cortisone injection the inflammation will go down, and the numbness and pain will get better, and surgery won’t be necessary.  Thank God, because I’m not really sure that would be an option I’m willing to consider.  The pain would have to be really bad before I am willing to go that route, and luckily I’m not in a lot of pain.  As a matter of fact, most of my pain is now gone, so it’s mainly just the numbness that is bugging me still.

On August 30th, the orthopedist referred me to a pain management doctor, but the doctor was to call me.  After a couple of days of not hearing from them, I stopped by their offices on Sept 4th, and I was able to schedule an appointment for tomorrow Sept 10th.  However, the appointment is only for a consultation to discuss the injection.  I wanted to go ahead and schedule the injection as well, but I was told that I had to wait until after the consultation to do that, so hopefully, I can schedule the injection by the end of this week or next at the latest.  My husband keeps telling me that I’ll be self-healed by the time I actually get the injection, and I’m beginning to think he may be right.  At least I can make it to about mile 3 or 4 now on my runs before my arm goes numb, and it doesn’t usually hurt anymore when it does, so my half training is getting back on schedule.  I still can’t bike though, and I’ve been told to stay off my bike until after the injection and preferably  until all numbness is gone.  I’m hoping I can return to biking by the end of September.

My DBS has been put on the back burner for now since I’ve been dealing with my neck issues, but I really think the slow down in everything has probably helped it as well.  I haven’t been able to do all of my exercises for it since some of the positions aggravated my neck worse, so it’s been a vicious cycle, but I’ve been taking my running return slowly, and I’m using the run/walk method doing a 4:1 interval right now.  I’m not back to the speed I’d like to be, but my mileage is almost back on track for my upcoming half marathons this fall, and my hip is holding up.  I was able to do a long run of 8.5 miles yesterday, and I still feel some tightness in it, but no pain, and that’s what counts!  I also ran the Big Peach Sizzler 10K on Labor Day, and even though I did it as a training run and wasn’t trying to PR, I was able to PR it since I hadn’t actually ran a 10K since last August which was my first 10K.  I could have definitely ran it faster and it wasn’t a PR I’m thrilled about, but it was a PR none the less, so it did make me feel better about my half marathons starting next month.

~ Train smart & have fun people!

Win Free Headsweats Merchandise!!!!!!!!!!!

Ready to celebrate your college team on College Colors Day, August 30th? Enter Headsweats Instagram College Colors Contest to win Headsweats gear just in time for football season!

Contest ends September 2nd. 3 Random winners will be selected on September 3rd. Winner wins a Headsweats visor or hat of their choice in their College Colors!

How to enter:

Step 1: Use Instagram to take a photo of you, you & your friends, you & the fam, wearing your college colors!

Step 2: Tag Headsweats on Instagram (@Headsweats) & use the hashtag #CollegeColorsDay so we can find your photo.

Step 3: Must enter through Instagram. Multiple entries will be accepted.

3 random winners will be chosen & announced on Tuesday, September 3.

You can also find all the details on Headsweats Blog: http://blog.headsweats.com/?p=912
Team Hats

Happy, happy, happy….

The day always starts better with a little bit of training whether that’s swimming, biking, or running.  Although, I have to say when it comes to STARTING the day, running is my favorite.

Swimming in the wee morning hours has to be done indoors in a pool, and I prefer to be outdoor, and I refuse to bike in the dark because it just scares me still, so I have missed running over the past couple of months, but starting back has been filled with challenges.  My days start better and I’m in a much better mood when I get to run in the morning.  I’m starting to feel the blahs leave, and the runner’s highs are returning.  Ahhh, life is good.

The only sad thing is that the days are getting shorter, so there are no more summer sunrises during my weekday runs, and I missed so many of them this summer due to the time off, but I guess if I can’t have summer sunrises, then a close second is an almost full moon in the sky this morning.  The picture just doesn’t do it justice.

This morning's moon

This morning’s moon

How many of you are morning runners?  If you’re not, then you should really give it a try because you’re missing out on a magical hour of the day, and I’ve never been a morning person, but running has converted me…. as long as the reason I’m up is to run.  😉  In those wee hours, there’s less traffic, beautiful sunrises, gorgeous moons, and even the occasional meteor showers.  If I wait to try to get my run in later, then it seems to never fail that life gets in the way.  Make exercise a priority, not something you’ll fit in to your day when you have time!  Happy Thursday people!

After my run this morning

After my run this morning in my favorite Headsweats visor

You never know until you try…

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After my Sunday morning run that my BRF’s and I had shared virtually in 3 different locations across Kansas and Georgia, we texted each other photos, and we were all wearing our Headsweats visors.  I’d been thinking about applying for an ambassador program, but I didn’t really know what company to approach until Amber posted the collage of her, Jeneen, and I, and we all had the Headsweats visors on.  It struck me immediately that their visors were something that I loved, and my friends loved them, so I knew it was a product that I’d feel good about sharing with my friends, running buddies, fellow triathletes, and basically everyone I knew.  My Headsweats visor is my favorite visor to run in because the terry cloth sweat band is great for keeping the sweat out of my eyes, and it doesn’t make my forehead itch or break out.

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I went to the Headsweats website, http://www.headsweats.com/, to see if they had an ambassador program, and they did!  However, as I read about the athletes that they sponsored, the self doubt started creeping in, and I wondered if there was really any reason that I should try applying.  Did I really even have a chance?  Their athletes sound pretty accomplished.  I’m still REALLY new in this journey, and they’re sponsoring people who look a lot more fit than me and who have qualified for the Ironman 70.3 World Championships.  Amber & Jeneen have been encouraging me to apply for an ambassador program though, so I decided to just go for it.

As I finished the application, I didn’t really expect to hear from Headsweats very quickly since the website said it could take up to 90 days, so I just sort of filed it away in the back of my mind.  While I was at Six Flags with my kids yesterday, I checked my phone, and I had a new email from Headsweats.  I was glad to get the response so quick telling me that I wasn’t accepted….oh, no, wait a minute, what does that say?  I am accepted?  Me? Really?  I literally had to read the email multiple times.  I was so excited that I had to have the kids sit down for a second, so I could respond to Headsweats and accept.

What does all this mean?  Well, right now, I’ve got to get a bio and photo together to send to Headsweats to post on their website which is scary.  It’s going to be seen by who knows how many people.  What should I say?  What picture should I use?  Is my grammar correct?  Is it interesting?  I might have a little bit of stress going on about this now, but it’s a good stress.  It also means that all of you get a special opportunity to get a 25% discount!  To get the discount, simply go to http://www.headsweats.com, and use the code INNERSPARTAN on any full-priced purchase to get 25% off.  Myself, I will be ordering the Coolmax Shorty or Super Duty Shorty to try out under my bike helmet.  Keep an eye out for that review in the future.

Super Duty Shorty

Super Duty Shorty