Monthly Archives: March 2018

Western States Training: Week…I don’t even know anymore…

I want to start this post by saying, for all those non runners, this streak of injury I am having isn’t necessarily running related.  Mostly all of it is either something that I’d have anyway (endometriosis) or from hitting my head(concussion).  Don’t think that these things are due to running and let that stop any of you from putting on some running shoes and going for a run.

I haven’t been updating as per usual because getting back to running from my head trauma has been a frustratingly slow “two steps forward, one fall back,” and while I am in the midst of it I certainly don’t want to whine about it online.

I got a few days in of running, then pulled my hamstring.  Had a few days of running no more than 3 miles, got a massage, went to PT.  Did some more things to help get my body all back online.  If you’ve never fallen hard enough before, or gotten injured, one thing that can happen is that the trauma will often screw up some aspect of your movement patterns.  Especially if you injure something that connects to your glutes, your prime movers.  Falling on my hip, and side of my butt set me up for some movement issues, and my hamstring tried to compensate for the strange pattern.

I’m also slowly getting a diagnosis of endometriosis together, its not a cut and dry thing, but a side effect of it is the loss of a lot of blood, so I am trying to get my iron stores back up.   Of course, I also banged my knee really good and its swelled up like a purple Easter egg…see…not good for blog posting. (oh ya, and those days I peed blood for no apparent reason…and don’t get me started on my spring allergies…why, March, why?!)

I did get to run my first long run in a month on Saturday, that felt great–thanks for the company DJ!   The one thing all this injury has allowed me to do is read, a ton.  So I have gotten a good eating plan together, and was able to execute it really well during a 30 mile long run.   I never bonked, felt pretty good the whole way, even though I could tell about 22 miles in my leg muscles were just not quite there with my cardiovascular system.   Too much time resting in bed or on the couch, they’ve gotten lazy– I’m sure they will catch back up.

As of today, Wednesday, I have strung together 10 whole days of running, and even a workout yesterday.

It has been hard emotionally, while I totally trust that my Coach Meghan will get me as fit as she can around my injuries, I still get a little anxious when I look at all the big zeros on my training log.  However, I feel like if something is important enough, I just can’t throw in the towel, even after all these things that seem to get thrown at me.  Apparently just training for 100 miles is too easy, so obstacles to training must be thrown in, yea, that’s more interesting.  “Girl trains for 100 miles, while lying in bed. ” I know, I’ll start a bed to 100 mile training plan. The warning will read: Caution don’t ever try this, it sucks.

A week from this Saturday I am scheduled to run Bull Run Run 50.   Originally I had a goal to PR and run sub 8 hours, but after not having run the last month or so…I think my new goal is to finish strong, use it as a training run, not run hard enough that recovery takes too long, oh and NOT TO FALL!! :). Its still going to be hard to get out of my racing mentality–fun new challenge.

At least I am learning not to take myself too seriously.  I am super happy that its been sunny and warm the past few days–I’m so ready for spring!

Happy spring to you all!

Western States Week 10: the follow up to the concussion

If you missed the previous blog post, let me catch you up.  I fell down some steps and gave myself a concussion, and had to stop running completely for about 9 days.


During that time last week I spent quite a lot of time sleeping, reading, and researching traumatic brain injuries (tbi).  For those of you interested, I learned there are about 6 symptoms that are identified.  They are: cognitive fatigue, vestibular, ocular, post- concussion migraine, cervical, and mood.  One can experience any combination of the list, or only one, or all.

This week I have experienced cognitive fatigue: trying to edit a friend’s paper, not only did I have to read it aloud, but I also had to take some breaks.  Vestibular, which I addressed with Brian Beatty’s help at Balanced Movement Studio.  I have been practicing my vestibular exercises daily.  Finally cervical, however, mine was whiplash so rather than real pinching of a nerve causing a headache, it was really tight muscles in my shoulder, back, and neck that a massage helped greatly!

There are some local business that claim to help concussion or ADD brains with cognitive feedback.  However, the data to back up this claim just doesn’t exsist yet….and it’s unbelievably $$$, so I’m keeping it in mind to try later.  Hopefully health insurance will cover it some day after more studies can be concluded.

Anyway, by the 9th day of rest I decided that getting a little blood flow to the brain would be a good thing.  I’d been walking easy the previous few days, and finally it was time to test out a run. 4 miles was fine, the next day 8, then 14, and so on.

I’m finding my stride is a bit funky, and my ability to concentrate on harder efforts is more challenging than usual.  For instance, during pickups rather than being focused on the effort for the entire pickup, I find my mind wandering, and my pace faltering.   I expect it will get better again as time passes.  Being present is hard with a constantly wandering brain.  I’m hoping that with more meditation I can get that presence back.  I find it also happens during conversations, focusing on what someone’s saying is harder….to my friends…sorry I’ve seen preoccupied during conversations, I’m not. 🙂

Fortunately my husband and friends have been really wonderful helping out while I recover.

I’m positive I’ll be back to it soon.  Besides, sometimes it’s good to slow down for a moment–think positive: be positive!


Run happy friends!🏃

Western States Training Week 9: Sometimes it just feels like its an Uphill Battle

Week 9 started out swimmingly..and then went downhill from there. Monday’s run was great, nice and easy, then; maybe this is TMI for some of you but this month my period was painful!  Sorry folks, this is real life- real things that we women have to deal with.  Headaches, cramps, worrying about bleeding through tampons etc.  So, Tuesday the headache/brain fog and body ache—like from my diaphragm to my knees body ache started. (Oh and lets not forget the need to go #2 constantly too, ugh)  I put off my run till mid day hoping that walking a bit first early in the day would help.  It did, minimally, though my brain was ready to rock my body just wanted to procrastinate and go back to bed.  Ohh, bed..soft, comfy, warm bed.  Nope, put on those shoes and go.

To keep me on track I drove to the gym and ran from there.   If I get in a car and drive somewhere to run, the run WILL happen.  So I opted to do my workout on trail, so I ran off to the only runnable/non technical loop in town (also the only loop with a porta john).  Its an undulating 5 mile gravel loop near my gym.  The workout called for 3 efforts of 9 for 12 minutes.  The warm up was fine, and then zoom.  Thankfully the burning of my legs and lungs made it near impossible for me to feel any cramps…so there was that!   There’s always a positive to be found in everything, no?

Wednesday was find, Thursday went well…..well, to be exact Thursday until about 4 pm went well…until the TRX incident.  I should say, it was all due to user error, the TRX did not injure me on its own..

I’ll start with a little background: soccer.  I played a lot of soccer, all year ’round from elementary school until a forced stop junior year in high school due to a really bad concussion, that wasn’t treated correctly.  The theme of my young life was, “play hard, suck it up, shake off that head trauma.”   Had we known any better, my parents would have been much more vigilant about my recovery from all my concussions, but homework had to be done, sports had to be played etc. Back then if you didn’t pass out or throw up, or bleed, it was ok.  Long story, I am now quite susceptible to head traumas.  It seems like I am more likely to hurt my brain than bruise my knee when I fall now.

Anyway, back to the TRX, I had hung it on a door not thinking about the fact that the door swung out towards me, I’d used it there any number of times before with out a problem.  On this day I was doing a circuit workout going from my garage (5 steps down from the main house) back into the house to use the TRX.  Of course the TRX popped off the door, and I was flung across the hall…and down those steps onto the concrete basement floor…backwards.  And with that…so ended my training week, rather abruptly.  Amazingly I literally only have a nasty bruise on my arm from trying to grab the door frame.  I basically landed in a sort of plank position, flipping 180 degrees so I was face down. Call me cat woman–hopefully I haven’t used up all my lives.  Subsequently I spent Friday, Saturday, and Sunday tucked into bed sleeping or listening to the Serial podcasts.   Oh..side note, I loved those podcasts!  Yea, I consumed all 7 hours of those while I laid in bed all weekend.  (Much to my husbands chagrin…its no fun with your super active fun wife won’t/can’t get out of bed all weekend.)

As you can tell I’m feeling much better!  By Sunday I could feel that the swelling had gone down a lot; brain swelling to me feels like having cotton in your head.  Like you can feel your brain inside your head, touching the skull.   Today, my PT, Brian Beatty, did an assessment and also walked me though some vestibular reset exercises which has helped with the headaches immensely.  Its going to be a wait and see now.  Once I can hop around without feeling my brain moving in the back of my head I can resume running, until then its swimming, walking, or biking while being aware of how my head is feeling.