Monthly Archives: October 2015

Recovery and Racing

It’s been about five weeks since my car accident, and four weeks since I started chiropractic treatment. I have to say after being nervous at first, I have really come around to the chiropractor. Dr. Steve understands where I am coming from and where I would like to be. He says my spine is staying pretty aligned so we just have to see what’s triggering the flare ups. I can tell things start to go south when I’m driving because I’m nervous, and then of course at work because I am terrible at leaving my desk. I really have to work on that as well as how my arms are positioned when typing. Dr. Steve wants my arms fully supported, where I am old (old old) school with my wrists hanging off the keyboard. I am committed to getting better so I am taking all of this to heart and working hard.
One of the toughest things has been the instruction that ice, not heat, should be my best friend. Me, who sleeps with a heating pad on full blast, and visits the steam room, sauna and/or whirlpool as often as possible. Apparently ice is better for inflammation, and heat is better in moderation. I’m not giving up my heat, but I have added a ice packs which I admit certainly are soothing.
I have been completing my races as were scheduled way before the car accident. A couple weeks ago I met my sister in St. Paul, Minnesota for the Twin Cities in Motion Loony Challenge. The schedule was a 10k immediately followed by a 5k on Saturday, and the famous 10 mile run from Minneapolis to St. Paul on Sunday. I was pretty nervous to run that many miles in one weekend but it ended up being a huge success. I wanted to keep going after the 10 miles. The only review I can give is if you have the chance to run one of the races offered that weekend, do it! The neighborhoods are beautiful, crowd support is amazing, the races are overall well run, and the medals, shirts, and post-race food are all great. I will be back since I did not run a half marathon, so I cannot check off Minnesota!

Saturday I drove to Detroit where yesterday I ran the International Half Marathon. I had heard so many great things about this race, which crosses over the Ambassador Bridge into Canada, then back through the Detroit Windsor Tunnel to the USA. Thus you actually are running under water part of this race. Of course going back and forth to Canada could cause custom issues so you provide your passport info at registration and then receive instructions to keep your bib visible, and be prepared to possibly be delayed if the agents can’t see your bib or if you are carrying liquids. Liquids are allowed but it’s just something that could cause a delay. I only saw one person detained, actually being arrested, and I assume he didn’t have a bib. The agents did a great job and were cheering and high fiving us as well. There were bottlenecks at the bridge and tunnel which reflect in my mile splits, but overall I am really pleased with my time. Crowd support was great on both sides of the border. I love the medal and the shirt. Post race food included bananas and hummus (not a fan), apples and chocolate milk. Pure Protein also had a booth with protein bars. I guess there were food trucks at the after party, but I was cold so didn’t stay. I actually thought the food provided was kind of light especially since there also was a marathon.

¬†All in all I’m feeling pretty hopeful. I know I can’t erase arthritis but I’ll do whatever I can to manage it.


September – the good, the bad, and the ugly.

September was such a whirlwind! It’s hard to believe October is here along with the much cooler temps. Seems like there is no gradual drop in temperature; we just drop 30 degrees and soon the snow will be flying.  I definitely feel like I channeled my inner Clint Eastwood as September unfolded.

I started the month by running the Biggest Loser Half Marathon here in Buffalo during Labor Day weekend. Biggest Loser puts on a pretty good race but it was so hot that day and the race is almost exclusively in the sun, so it was tougher than I expected and my finish was slower than I expected. Since I ran the 5k last year, the inaugural year in Buffalo, I received a legacy medal which was nice. I think what struck me most was the lack of community support compared to races I have done in other cities/states. I wonder if, since we have such a short race season here with a lot of races crammed in, the non-running community is just sick of the disruption.
After the race my husband Dave and I walked over to the annual Buffalo Chicken Wing Festival where he completed a hot wing eating challenge, we enjoyed a local craft beer, and then headed home because the heat and dehydration were starting to affect me. All in all this was a good day.

My 52nd birthday fell in here. Even though I miss seeing my girls on my birthday and all holidays, Dave made it a great birthday as always. 

The following weekend I travelled to my sister’s home in Richmond, where we would be driving together to Baltimore, Maryland to race the Run 4 Shelter. This race takes place mostly on flat trails. Unfortunately we got carried away the day before the race exploring the area and put in about 5 miles, so my legs got pretty tired at the end of the half marathon. We did find the beach so it was worth it!  
Race day was chilly and rainy. Prior to the start some skydivers came down and they were awesome! 

 The race had a late start, which I find annoying, but the worst part for me was around mile 11 or 12 when you actually run past the finish line then circle around back. I don’t really like that. My sister rocked her 10k and with my tired legs I did okay with the half.

Since it was pouring when I got done we decided to head out because we were going to stay at the inner harbor for a few nights. As we were sitting at a red light I heard what sounded like a shot behind us and twisted to look in my side view mirror to see what happened. Then we were hit from behind, twice! The vehicle behind us had been hit twice by the vehicle behind her somehow. My head bounced off the headrest two times but luckily my sister was able to keep us from hitting the car in front of us. A fire truck and two police cars later, we were back on our way.  

Baltimore’s inner harbor is a wonderful place to visit and I hope to go back soon. We water taxi’d all over. It’s very impressive, especially the aquarium. All in all, this trip was good with a bad.
 The next week my neck and back pain increased but I had a local half marathon on Saturday and a dinner with some fellow 50 State Half Marathon Club members who were in town for the race, so I decided to go for it. Dinner was wonderful because we got to meet some new people. 
The race was in Lewiston NY, the Mighty Niagara Half Marathon. Such a nice route but halfway in I knew I was in trouble with my back. I even considered quitting but instead decided to add a lot of walking. The scariest part was a feeling like I couldn’t breathe. I texted Dave at mile 9 and told him it was going to be a while! I was crying the last 1/10th of a mile and after finding Dave just headed home. This was especially disappointing because I missed what looked like a great after-party and a chance to see the 50 Staters again. This day was ugly, but I’m going to try again next year.

Two goods then occurred. I was able to find a chiropractic wellness office to treat my cervical and thoracic strains. Unfortunately X-rays show that I have underlying arthritis throughout my back, but I am hopeful Dr. Steve can improve things for me, and he says he wants to make me a pain-free and better runner. So we have the same goals. I was really afraid of the adjustments at first; the cracking noise really scared me. I seem to be getting used to it though.
The best good was hearing that I was accepted as an Ambassador in Kathrine Switzer’s 261 Fearless program. 261 was Kathrine’s number when she was the first woman to register for and run the Boston Marathon. As most know, race officials tried to physically force her out of the race but with help from her friends she was able to finish and go on to have a most successful running career. I really feel this program is a perfect fit for me and I’m excited to make the most of this opportunity.

My last race of the month was Beat the Blerch in Morristown, New Jersey. I was meeting my daughter Morgan there as she was taking the train from New York City. Unfortunately I had decided to drive prior to the car accident, which ended up causing a lot of discomfort. Morristown ended up being one of the most charming towns I have ever visited and I could imagine myself living there (or somewhere similar).
 Beat the Blerch ended up being a legitimate trail race. I never had run a trail race before and I absolutely loved it. My mind was constantly engaged in trying not to trip and fall, and the scenery was beautiful. There was so much to concentrate on, I didn’t have time to think about my back. Poor Morgan the city girl was not as enthused but we both came out unscathed. Morristown – good, race – good, drive – bad, seeing Morgan – wonderful.

I have a lot scheduled again this month that I probably would not have if I had known about my back problems. I’m just going to take it easy, do my exercises, and have the best time possible.

My goal for October is really to get on a schedule. Being disorganized leads me to feeling overwhelmed and then I tend to give up. Wish me luck!