Excitement is off the charts….

….for my upcoming race schedule that is!

After my injection in my neck last week, most of the numbness in my arm seems to be gone.  I’ve only had mild numbness once or twice since the day after the injection.  I still haven’t attempted to get back on my bike, but my focus has now moved onto my upcoming running race schedule.

This Sunday, I will be running the Allstate 13.1 in Atlanta, but it is simply a training run for the Savannah Rock N Roll Half which I want to try to PR.  My plan for Allstate is to run part of it as a tempo run.  I’m thinking 8-9 miles. I then have the Monster Dash on Oct. 20th before the Savannah RnR on November 9th.

My current PR for a half is 2:17:07.  I’m still using the run:walk method, but I’m optimistic that I may be able to PR using it at Savannah. I just need to either speed up my walk or change up my ratio.  Yesterday, I was able to average a leisurely 11 minutes a mile on a 7.7 mile run using a 2:1 ratio.  When I got home and looked at my Garmin numbers, my run pace was usually around the low 9’s or high 8’s, but my walk was really slow, so I’m hoping to work on this over the next 4 weeks, and see if I can get my overall pace down for Savannah.  I’ve really been enjoying using the run:walk method, and I feel like my recovery time from day to day is much better.  I am no longer reaching the end of my long run feeling exhausted like I couldn’t run any further.

My Garmin data from Sunday

After Savannah, my race schedule is going to get a little crazy!  I have the Serenbe Hill Country 15K on Nov. 23rd.  I ran it last year the week after my very first half, and it KICKED my butt!  I’m hoping for some redemption this year.  It’s an awesome race, but it’s a trail run, and I haven’t ran many trails.  My biggest concern is whether I need to stick with the 15K or drop to the 5K because after Serenbe, I just registered for the Rome 30K on December 7th because of peer pressure and due to being temporarily insane.  I’ll be running it with one of my BRF’s Jeneen.  It’s a big jump to try 30K for me, but I need to test the waters of farther distances.  Right now, I just want to finish the 30K and not die at the end. 😉  If the 30K goes well, then I will be moving up my timeline on my first marathon to run Albany on March 1st, but no commitments yet!

For next year, I am registered for the Red Nose Half, Albany, Publix, and the Ragnar Trail Relay in Conyers, GA.  I’m looking forward to getting a Ragnar Relay, marathon, and Half Ironman checked off my running bucket list sometime in the next year provided I can stay injury free, so stay tuned for updates on my journey towards these goals!

 

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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………….

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!

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Injuries Suck!!!

Ok, so what’s up with me?  I know I’ve been kind of quiet, and honestly I think it’s because I’ve been slightly depressed due to frustration with injuries.  I miss my training buddies, and I miss TRAINING!  But, things are looking up.

After my last update, I went to the PT for my arm numbness & pain which is believed to be due to my C6 vertebra compressing a nerve.  My shoulder had started hurting so bad that I couldn’t finish my last 20 mile bike ride, and I had to call my husband to pick me up on Aug 1st, and I went to the PT on Aug 6th.  The PT did some manual manipulation and put my head in a traction device at PT which felt good at the time, but as soon as I stood up from it, my arm started going numb again.  She instructed me not to bike or run for the next week. ARRGGHHHH!!!!  I still have not gotten back on a bike, but last week, I was able to start back running, and yesterday, I did my first swim since the beginning of August.  My arm is still going numb and starting to hurt during runs, but during my swim Monday, it went numb, but it didn’t hurt.

I feel like I’m totally starting over again with my running since I was off running for well over a month due to my hip, and now I’m still having to run with pain in my shoulder.  My hip feels better though!  🙂  Last week I ran 3 days for a total of only 11 miles.  I’m definitely behind for my upcoming half marathons, but I’m trying to take it easy & not try to build up too fast, so I’ve been using the run-walk method.  This week’s plan is to run 3 days with a total of 13 miles, so I ran 4 miles this morning.  I have just over 6 weeks until the Allstate half which I will be running as a training run, and I have just over 11 weeks to the Savannah RnR half which I was originally going to try to PR, but at this point, since I’m still not 100%, that doesn’t seem very likely, but I’ll see as it gets closer.

As for now, I have an MRI today of my neck which I’m hoping shows the doctors whatever they need to see to make this numbness & pain go away, so I can get back to my full training schedule sometime in the near future.  The PT said she thought I’d probably need injections in my neck to help with the inflammation to relieve the pressure on the nerve.  I’m pretty nervous about having an injection in my neck, but if it’ll help, then I’m willing to try anything right now.

Just suck it up!

I had planned on getting up and riding at Trek this morning with the group ride, but my bed was calling my name, and I gave myself every excuse as to why I could skip.  Of course, the bed won out, and I ended up sleeping until after 10AM.  As the day went on, the guilt set in.  I hadn’t hurt anyone else and no one was putting this guilt on me other than myself, but I felt like a slug all morning after skipping.  Now, I needed to figure out how to get out of this funk.

My son had a cub scout event at the skating rink, so my husband took him and my daughter, so I had the afternoon to get my lazy butt going.  Not having anyone to ride with and knowing that I’d be doing a long ride tomorrow morning early, I opted to head to the gym to get a swim in.

Even as I walked into the gym, I was trying to talk myself out of my workout.  I’m not sure what’s going on lately, but I think this whole DBS has me in a bit of a funk since I’m not running.  I fought the urge, and I got in the pool and swam the 800 meters that I’d set out to do.  My swimming is definitely improving with the freestyle.  I’ve totally given up the breaststroke due to my hip pain, and I think the freestyle is starting to really pay off.  The added bonus is that the freestyle also works the glute muscles that I need to strengthen, so they are getting the work with the PT exercises as well as the extra swimming now.  After my swim, I decided to ride the stationary bike for 30 minutes to get some more cardio in.  Again, it took everything I had to finish the entire 30 minutes without stopping early.  I haven’t been on a stationary bike in FOREVER, and it sucked!

Knowing that I have a 10K on Labor Day and the Allstate 13.1 in October, I decided when I got home that I’ve got to try to start training again, so tomorrow morning I will be attempting a walk/run for 40 minutes with some supportive friends of mine who have graciously agreed to meet at 6AM.  I’m hoping it goes well because I really don’t have time to put my training off anymore without starting to drop races.  A lot depends on tomorrow morning’s walk/run for me, so I’m off to bed with sweet dreams in my head.