Saturday, February 19, 2011

Marathon Training: 18 miles!

I haven't done a very good job of logging my training, but I promise to start!

Today was 18, and I have to admit I was EXTREMELY nervous! It's been almost three weeks since the kidney stone ordeal, and my longest run has been 16 miles (the day I went to the ER).

14 miles was a breeze. Autumn and I actually started our run/walk plan (run a mile, walk 30 seconds, run a mile, walk 30 seconds, etc.) for this distance, and it worked really well. With this being my longest distance ever, you can imagine the uneasiness. My legs did start feeling a little like lead come mile 12, but it wasn't nearly as bad as I feared. 16 miles was even better. I didn't feel achy at all during the run...though we all know what happened after. :/

But 18...I wasn't sure how this was going to go. Autumn had just informed me that she wouldn't be doing the marathon, as she has a stress fracture in her foot. As much as it bums me that I won't be running with her (my awesome motivator), I know it's eating her alive not to be able to run with me. This was going to be her first "just for fun" marathon, and she won't be able to do it. :(

However, Autumn came up with an awesome plan to keep me on track. I would run the first 9-10 by myself, then she would catch up and ride her bike next to me the rest of the way. It sounds so silly...and I'm quite sure it looked exactly like that. But it worked! She set her gears to the lowest setting and encouraged me the entire 8 miles back to our car! (We have come to LOVE the Shelby Farms Greenline for training, so I left her to get some studying done at Republic Coffee, ran 9 miles one way, turned around, got a mile back, then we finished together.)
While she was itching to get in some exercise as well, Autumn definitely could've gone off and done her own thing on the bike...but she was determined to be there for my longest run. Now that's a friend for you!

More training posts to come!

Friday, February 11, 2011

The Power of a Kidney Stone

The phrase "it brought me to my knees" took on a whole new meaning for me last week.

For months, I was dealing with some major health issues...from unbearable pressure in my lower back to dealing with hypoglycemic symptoms to blood in the urine. After a few trips to the urologist and one to my OB-GYN, they found a couple small kidney stones. Of course that was after a lovely bill from a CT scan, cath test, and who knows how many other tests. Thankfully everyone was in agreement that my running had nothing to do with any of this. :) The urologist assured me that the blood was just from an infection and being that the stones were so "microscopic," I shouldn't even feel them pass. HE. WAS.WRONG.

The Saturday before last, I had the incredible honor of being invited to go wedding dress shopping with one of my closest friends! It was such a fun day (once we got there, at least). We were meeting at Kelly's at 6:45 that morning, as her appointment was at 9 and the place was about an hour and a half away. Around 6:15, I had my first attack of the day. After about 10 minutes, the pain went away, and I finished getting ready. I was a little nervous about it happening again, but went about my day anyway. About an hour into our drive to Low's Bridal Shop, another attack came on. This one was worse than the first...I started sweating profusely, and the pain became unbearable. I laid across the back seat of Kelly's Jeep, across her sister and Molly (thanks again, ladies!). Thankfully I passed out for a minute. A few minutes later, we stopped, and I was able to get out and use the restroom. I felt fine after that and didn't have another episode for the remained of the day.

Sunday was a different story. I ran 16 miles with Autumn that morning, and oddly enough, it was one of my best training runs to date. I felt great the whole time and was totally pain-free! We started super early, as we both needed enough time to get ready for church. Around 11am, just before we were about to leave, I started feeling really sick. Then came the back pressure. I tried laying down on the bed to see if stretching helped, but that only made it worse. Then it hit was the most EXCRUCIATING pain I've EVER felt! It was like someone was beating my kidney with a steel hammer, while stabbing and yanking it out with a knife...all at the same time.

At first, Brent thought I was just being a wuss and needed the heating pad. I could barely speak, but managed to get out that I needed to go to the ER right away. He said I would be fine, just needed to lay still for a few minutes, and it would pass. He left to go to Walgreens to pick up some Tylenol Extra Strength and a heat wrap. In the 5 minutes he was gone, I called him twice, called my dad, and was about to dial 911. Never had I ever been in that much pain, and it wasn't letting up even the slightest bit. Finally, I convinced Brent it wasn't your average back pain (maybe it was the ridiculous shrieking that did the trick?!), and he drove me to the ER.

We got there around 12:15pm...four hours and 45 minutes of me screaming my head off and causing more ruckus than in all my 28 years of living, I was finally admitted into a room. It was 30-45 minutes of excruciating pain followed by 20 minutes of just numbing pain followed by another 30-45 minutes of excruciating pain followed by 20 minutes of numbing pain. It went on like that the entire time in the waiting room. About three hours in, I was at least put on fluids, as they needed me to have something in my stomach for when I was finally given pain meds...which were AWESOME, by the way! If you've never taken Dilaudid, take my word for it!! Not trying in any way to promote an addiction to pain killers, but for someone in the amount of pain I was in, this stuff works!

A few hours, another CT scan (confirming a 3-4mm stone), and three more injections of Dilaudid, and I was finally able to go home. I have to throw in that my amazing parents were up there with Brent and me the entire time. :)

The doctor told me I would pass it by the next day...umm, not so much. I had three episodes on Monday, two not-so-bad ones on Tuesday (even went into work for a few hours), and had the stone removed by cystoscopy on Wednesday. I went into work for a half day Thursday and was back to myself and totally pain-free by Friday. Madness, I tell you! Madness that cost us about $5,000...not awesome.

Through it all (aside from the first few minutes of not taking me seriously on Sunday), Brent was absolutely amazing. He never left my side, made me soup for every meal, carried me from the couch to the bed, brought me TCBY (my fave!), and showed me more love than I could've ever imagined. I am so thankful for him and feel so blessed to call him my husband.

Now that that's behind me, I'm just hoping to stay injury-free until marathon day!!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Thankful Thursday: I'm thankful for...being able to unplug!

Being a marketer and in today's world of smart phones and other innovative devices, I have to say that I embrace the fact that I am always "plugged in." However, it was incredibly refreshing to be out of the country for five days without access to email, the internet, Facebook, etc.

My super fun aunt invited me to join her and her friends in Cabo San Lucas for a few days of fun in the sun. With the insane winter we've had here in Memphis this year, I was itching to travel to an exotic locale and spend a few days on a luxurious boat!

The whole trip was planned around the Cabo Half Marathon...running is always a great travel incentive for me (though I didn't need ANY kind of incentive to make my way to the beach!). The race was canceled, however, but we still managed to get in a 10-miler one day and at least 5 miles every other morning...all with a scenic view of the Pacific!!

We ate at the most AMAZING restaurants (Hacienda El Coyote, Edith's, The Office on the beach, Senor Sweets, and more), drank some incredible Mexican wine, made a trip to Cabo Wabo (woop!), had the wonderful Captain Edgar take us out on the boat for a day (which my aunt had yum!), played with sea lions and saw a couple whales, dolphins and a sea turtle, chilled at the nearby resort pool, took advantage of the flea market, and even watched Don Juan DeMarco on our last evening (my first time to see the awesomeness that was this movie). It was the most wonderful, relaxing, and refreshing vacation I've ever had! And the fact that I was able to stay unplugged (with the exception of a couple text messages and one quick phone call a day to Brent) made it that much sweeter!

So thank you, Aunt Mignon, for such an amazing vacation. You are the best, and I can't wait to go back!! :)

The boat!

I love pirates!

Love you, Aunt Mignon!

Dinner at Edith's

The roommates

Sea lions!

El Arco...gorgeous!

Our friend, Pancho

Running buddies!

I love me some tequila! :)

Last night at Hacienda El Coyote

Tamarind Margarita...YUM!!

Cabo Wabo!!