Monday, December 26, 2016

See a change?

Two posts in one week?  Am I imagining things?  Nope, you're not.  It's me and like I said last post I have been wanting to blog lately, so I am riding this wave for as long as I can.

If you've been following my blog for a while you will notice a change.  If not, then I'll let you in on what I'm talking about.  I have "refreshed" my page with a new layout and...a new title.

So when I was talking about a refocus on my goals and making changes, I didn't just mean in what I am doing, but also what I'm going to write about and focus on.  I have decided that the title of my blog will always be "The Beginners Runner" because, well, that's my identity.  We are always beginning at something and I feel like I am a beginner runner again after such a long hiatus.  However the title of my blog will change with the goals I have planned.  Just like now, take a look at the title, don't worry, I'll give you a chance to look.  I'll wait here...

Take a look?  Good.  Well, that's what I'm planning for now.

A marathon.

I mean, let's face it, life in and of itself is a marathon, but I'm talking about running one.  I have had this goal for many years.  It came to me when I was pregnant with the kiddo and I kept running through my pregnancy to help keep my base in preparation for building my mileage to run a marathon a year after I had the kiddo.  My body, on the other hand, had other plans for me.

After I had the kiddo I suffered from debilitating plantar fasciitis, so badly that I would have to brace the walls as I walked through my home.  Through extensive physical therapy and the use of compression socks (thank you ProCompression!) I made my way through my 9 month PF ordeal.  But the therapy had encompassed my whole training period for my marathon and I was only able to squeak out a couple of miles in training before my big race weekend in January 2015.  I made it to the race weekend, but had downgraded my race distance from whole to half marathon, knowing I could at least walk a half and still finish.  However my body decided I wouldn't be doing that either.  I got terrible food poisoning the night before the big race and recorded my first DNS. 

My training continued when I got home from that disaster of a race weekend and I was determined to get to my goal of completing a full marathon.  But that's not what happened.  I developed horrific acid reflux and digestive tract pain.  


Anyone who has run with chronic acid reflux know that it's absolute torture.  Not just during the activity, but also after, it hits with a vengeance!!!  I had changed my diet and modified my activity, I just couldn't get relief.  I went through testing and medications and even an upper endoscopy, only to find nothing.  I tried homeopathic remedies and OTC remedies alike, all to little or no relief.  

Finally, it all began to subside and I was starting to feel normal again.  I began working out and trying different kinds of types of exercising.  I tried CrossFit, hot yoga and getting back into running (because let's be honest, I still had races each year, ie. RnR Seattle and Disneyland Half Marathon weekend).  CrossFit was not a good fit for me.  It was too intense all the time and I actually tweaked my shoulder pretty good.  I enjoyed the workouts, don't get me wrong, I learned that I could actually push my body much further than I thought I could.  But the constant intensity was too much for my body to handle and I just couldn't keep up.

Hot yoga, as good as I felt after wards, it was just too much money to keep up with.  I did it for a little while, but just couldn't keep up with the money and time (trying to juggle class times around taking care of a 1 year old was pretty impossible). Which was also my issue with running, time.  I never had the time during the week to run as I had a 3+ hour commute between home, work and the kiddos daycare.  I barely had time to eat and spend time with the kiddo, let alone get time to run.

Then that December I had another health concern rear its head and something I really haven't talked much about, but something that has been a constant in my life since then.  I took myself to the ER because I thought I was having a heart attack.  I had "classic" symptoms and it scared the crap out of me, so I went in and got the full check from the doctors only to be told everything looked normal.  HUH?  How is that possible when I'm having actual chest pain! 

Let the parade of doctors visits and specialists begin!!  

Since last December I have seen and retained a cardiologist, physiologist, gastroenterologist, and even psychologist.  I have had EKG's, holter monitoring, Ecat monitoring, x-rays, MRI, medication, nerve testing, vitamin deficiency testing, blood work and all to no avail.  Here I am, one year later still experiencing chest wall pain, it isn't all the time, it waxes and waines, but it's still there.  This has been my biggest road block by far and one that still keeps me hesitant on my training.  I've been told what it isn't, but nobody knows what it is.  I have also been told to continue to workout and run as they see no reason why I should stop.  My heart is healthy (aside from the palpitations I still experience) and aside from my weight, am in relatively good health. With that knowledge, and with the pursuit of continuing to look for answers, I am still looking to make strides towards my ultimate goal of marathon training.

Were these issues or excuses?  You can decide which they were on your own. Regardless, I was derailed by ailments and all it did was make me jealous of those that were able to do what I couldn't at the time and make me bury my own dreams out of fear of the unknown.  I didn't know if I would be able to do what I wanted to physically and that uncertainty left me fearful and sad.  But I am just tired of worrying and holding my life on pause because of all of this.  So now I am taking steps, ever so cautiously (let's be honest, I'm still playing it a bit safe), towards what it is I have been wanting to do for years.

Will completing a marathon make my life something big and grand?  Probably not.  Will my life be "less than" if I don't complete one?  No.  Then why do it?  Well...why not?  It's something I've wanted to do for a while and when I began running 5 years ago I scoffed at the thought of being able to complete one.  But as I completed more and more half marathons, the thought crossed my mind that I really could do this, so I really want to try, make the concerted effort and throw my hat in the ring.  Because if anything these ailments have taught me is that life is short and if you want something, you don't have much time to get after it.  The time will pass anyway, why not make it worth something?

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