Friday, October 27, 2006

Thank You Autumn

Cooler weather made it's way to South Florida this week and along with it came some fantastic runs. Well, maybe not fantastic, but definitely a lot better than any I had encountered in the past few weeks.

The saga of the ankles continue but nothing too dramatic has happened with that. The pain has been way down and there has been only a slight bit of swelling, usually in the evening. I went to the doctor again today for an ultrasound on my legs to check for blood clots, but he said they looked pretty good and I would get the results back next week. Let's hope the results end up 0-3.

So I was really good about getting up early all week to run before work. With longer hours at work and the time change coming, it was getting impossible to run in the evening anymore. So I made the decision to kick it into high gear and start getting up at 6am instead of 7:45am (which has always been one of the best things about my job). Surprisingly, it wasn't that difficult and I am amazed at the amount of energy I have after a morning run. I am so much less sleepy in the afternoon and it's easier (obviously) to fall asleep at night.

Anyway, Monday was bloody hot and miserable. My legs felt like lead and I stopped a couple of times, but at least I ran. Then we had a cold front come through Monday night and by 6am on Tuesday it was in the low 60's and windy outside. It wasn't the best run, but it felt a hundred times better than the day before. Then Wednesday, it was still cool and windy and I ended up having the best run in weeks, no stopping and at a decent pace. What a difference 15 degrees and lower humidity can make.

Mon - 3.22 miles 34 minutes
Tues - 3.22 miles 32.58 minutes
Wed - 3.22 miles 31.20 minutes
Thurs - 45 minutes elliptical
Fri -off

So tomorrow is the long group run and at 7 miles, it will be my longest run to date. Even though it's supposed to be hot and stormy and Mercy will probably not be there, I am still pretty excited. I guess it will be a true test of my will.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

I'm back baby.

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Wow, a lot has happened and not happened since I last updated. It's been a crazy few weeks with work and doctors but hopefully things may be starting to look up.

The week after my first run with the training group my ankles swelled up like balloons. The right one was so bad I couldn't wear normal shoes for a week and just lived in my flip-flops (which is not that different than normal, but whatever). I went to the doctor and he said it looked like either Rheumatoid Arthritis or Gout. He was suspecting Gout because of a certain diuretic I had been taking for the last 9 months for another medical condition (love getting old, I think I have mentioned that before). One of the side-effects from this medication is Gout. The symptoms sounded about right so I went on with life as a gimp waiting for the results of all the blood they stole from me and the xray they took of my knee.

The day after I went to the doctor, my ankle swelled up so bad it looked like my foot was trying to swallow my toes. It was crazy. My lovely friends at work, one in particular, coined my newest nickname - "Bigfoot", which made me want to laugh hysterically and cry like a big baby all at the same time. It still felt like strained muscles in both feet, mostly just uncomfortable but not unbearable. The massive swelling lasted for about a week and caused me to miss the second training day of the half-marathon. I was not overly thrilled about already missing out because of injury, but since I literally couldn't put on a shoe, I figured I should probably take it easy for a bit.

The next week the swelling started to subside but didn't go away completely and they were still sore. I could only manage one 45 minute session of cardio on the elliptical machine (mainly because of my husband's protests to me running). However, I was bound and determined to not miss week three of training. It was a six mile run which I was concerned with since I hadn't run at all in two weeks, but it went really well. Between the darkness of the early morning, Mercy talking to me and keeping my mind occupied, the slower pace set by the group, the walk breaks, the water stations and the running-pack vibe, I felt great and even though my ankles were still swollen a bit, once I started running they didn't bother me at all. Actually, the swelling went down considerably after I was done. It's a Christmas miracle!

This week Tuesday I did a 3.22 mile run in 32.24 which felt horrible. I had to stop about 2 or 3 times. My pace was faster than I run with the group which probably explains the dead feeling while I was running. I went to the gym on Thursday and tried to run but the treadmill felt very claustrophobic and I couldn't get into it, so I just went and lifted after about 8 minutes.

Then today I did the Miami/Ft. Lauderdale Race For the Cure.

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Which is always a helpful reminder that no matter how big my ankles and feet get, things could be a lot worse. And even though it was really hot and I felt miserable when I was running it, I did it in a respectable time (31.11) and was surrounded by an amazing group of strong and fearless women, always inspiring.

So yesterday I got the results back from the doctor and am now extremely frustrated. He said they all came back normal (including my xray) and the only thing that was off was my level of cortisone, which was high. This seems about right since I have been getting shot up with cortisone and taking prednisone off and on since January for the other medical problems (the same one I was on the diuretic for). Now I have to go in for an ultrasound on my ankles and see a rheumatologist since even now, three weeks later, I still have swelling, redness and pain in my ankles and it gets better and worse depending on which way the wind is blowing. Whatever. I'm running again, my ankles don't effect it and even my knee has been treating me well, so I will just milk it for a long as I can. Although I feel like I am starting all over again with my training from what I was doing in August at least I am getting back out there and it feels great, even if I am slow.

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