Now What?

It’s been 17 days since the Chicago Marathon. It seems like it was just yesterday.

Mentally, I’m fully recovered and have moved on with my life. Physically, I’m still fighting a few issues. Some are a little more worrisome than others. And some are not running related at all.

Let’s talk about stress, baby. As you all know by now, I’m a low carber. Everyday, I wake up and check my blood glucose. This isn’t because I’m diabetic. But it is because I believe that at one point in my life I was pre-diabetic. My fasting blood glucose has always been a bit on the high side (95-105). I find if I wake up famished, then more than not, I’ll have a high reading. If I wake up with no desire to eat, then the number is low (75-85). In the weeks leading up to the marathon, it was low, up until the morning we left for Chicago. Then it was 108.

Stress. Yep. Stress will raise your blood glucose level. That number scares me, and in many ways, set me back mentally. It messed with me so much, I didn’t even bother to check it while we were in Chicago. I didn’t want it to stress me out even more. After all, I knew what was causing it. And there was nothing I could do about it. Try to relax? In Chicago? With my husband? Before the CHICAGO MARATHON? Right.

I began testing it again the Tuesday after the marathon. Again, I had outrageous numbers. 111, 109, 114, 101, etc. In fact, it took a week for that number to go back below 100.

Stress. Yep. This time physical stress. That seems like a fair assessment. No matter how good you may feel a few days after that marathon run, your body is still fighting to reattain balance. There is inflammation, there is repair, plus there are regulatory systems working overtime to heal and rejuvenate. And, quite clearly, that is what my blood glucose numbers were telling me.

This morning, day 17 post marathon, my number was 80. (Deep sigh of relief.) For me, it means life can go on as usual. I can bring things back up to speed. I can get serious again.

Except…

I’ve got this horrid case of tennis elbow. In fact, I’ve had it since May. It hasn’t gotten any better. I might almost say it has gotten worse. It wakes me up at night, it keeps me from doing everyday things without pain, like lifting my water bottle, or pulling something out of the microwave, and my P90X workouts have been suffering because of it. It doesn’t make running too easy, either. I’ve been self PT’ing it, including salt soaks and KT tape, but nothing seems to be hitting the crux of it. It might be time to see someone about it. But I hesitate because…

my husband…

My husband did something terrible to his back. Actually, he may have done nothing at all. He’s had back trouble in the past, including major surgery, and now it seems to be hitting him a bit lower in the spine. I should have known something was up in Chicago when we did that long walk and he was obviously in pain. That doesn’t happen very often, and the man walks the dogs 4-miles everyday. This was new, or somewhat new, and I was just noticing it for the first time.

What does this mean for me? Well, my life goes on hold. He can’t drive, and he can’t do some of his regular chores, so I’m doing it all. That really doesn’t bother me. In fact, it keeps me horrendously busy. But, a breather would be nice. I’ll also have to cancel my volunteer sessions with Team Ortho. The girls have places to be and he can’t bring them there.

A person in pain can be a real pain to those that they love, although they may not realize it. My husband gets mean and ornery. And I understand that. Pain sucks. I know because I have been there as well. I try to keep my shit to myself, however, just to keep the morale up around here. I just wish he would understand that it takes a toll on all of us. He needs to do something about it as soon as possible. Like me, he is trying to self treat it, and it isn’t working. A man on steroids sucks to be around. A man on steroids that aren’t working sucks even more.

I’m trying hard to remain upbeat and compliant. But it is getting more and more difficult as the days go on. At least I have my running, right?

Well…

Kind of. I have been having mirror symptoms in my right shin/calf that I have had in my left shin/calf for the months leading into Chicago. I can only attribute it to the work I put into training. Whether keeping the runs solely in the parks has anything to do with it, and whether I should try returning to the roads remains a question. In the meanwhile, I’m doing the best I can, while foam rolling and working on that leg.

So, with both workouts now affected by injury, I’m forced to take a different route entirely. I can get the P90X workouts done if I come down…way down…on weights. And my runs have been more like jogs, or just a way to burn some calories, and some steam, which is what I need to burn more of.

My legs, especially my right hamstring and periformis muscle, remains tight and nervy. My left side seems perfectly OK. I’ve returned to my PT exercises regularly and Yoga, too. It seems to be helping.

I have a half marathon on Saturday. This is the Monster Dash Half Marathon, where I PR’d last year with a 1:34:05 time. I know for a fact this will not be repeated this week. I’d just like to run it like a training run, get my medal (and Delaney’s), and be done with it. Some serious healing and mending time needs to get done. Boston is only 6 months away, and I don’t want it to be a repeat of 2014.

Therefore, with the remainder of what is left with the year, I’ll work on honing my diet and macros, and find something that will work with the reduction in quantity and quality of my daily exercise routine. I’ll also work on strengthening and loosening up the leg muscles. I still have my indoor bike, which allows me to write blog posts like this one while I’m working up a bit of a sweat, and my Zero Runner, which I haven’t yet attempted a session on since marathon training.

There are things in life I can do nothing about. These things are just a few. But, I am grateful that I was able to pull off Chicago at all, and do a respectable job with it. And I’m always grateful to have the opportunity to run. Running is my lobster. Running keeps me sane. Running defines me.

Now what? For now, I roll with the tide. Hopefully, it is on it’s way in.

How do you handle everyday stress?

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Have you seen my new Etsy store yet? It is called Charmed Running. I’ve created (and am still creating) shoe lace charms for marathons, half marathons, local races, and just plain inspiration! Please, check it out! If there is a race you’d like to see a charm for, then just ask! I’m happy to oblige!

4 Responses to Now What?

  1. Norm says:

    Something I just found that helps with my stress levels is night running. I recently purchased these LED lights that go on your shoes, nightrunner (www.nightrunner270.com), and they work pretty well. They produce a nice bright light about 12 ft ahead of you. I run on a path along the Mississippi river with these and I have earbuds in that plays a ZombiesRun story and my music via my iPhone. Well, with my vision limited to 12ft and my hearing limited to what’s playing I’m isolated like I’m doing some sort of sensory deprivation technique. It’s very Zen like and I can really focus on my running. Very calming. Of course now as the temps drop here in Minnesota I have to wear more clothing but that doesn’t stop me from night running.

    • A Running Chick says:

      Thanks, Norm. Night running would stress my husband out. In fact, I think he’d forbid it. I could treadmill, though. He couldn’t complain about that!

      • Norm says:

        Oh, I didn’t think very far on that… come to think of it, I wouldn’t want my wife running at night either. Too tempting to the weirdo’s out there I’m sure.

  2. When I’m stressed, I need to run. But it sounds like you need to take some time off to let your physical injuries calm down! I hope everything else calms down too!

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