Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Endings and New Beginnings

I've had this post rolling around in my head for a while ever since the beginning of the new year and I finally am at a peace of mind where I can write it. I have been off of the blog world for a few months now. November and December were hard months for me. No, I mean really and truly trying and difficult. The kind of months that make you pray to God for the strength to just survive the day.

About two weeks after the (awesome) half, my knee started popping. It would pop during the run. Mainly it was just irritating at first. Then it started popping worse during the run. Then it started popping just while walking around. Then running became so painful that I couldn't get any farther than 1 mile without having to limp back to the house in pain. I tried to take two weeks off from running. That didn't work. I was fearing the worst....surgery. The more I researched about it, the more it sounded like ITB issues pulling my patella out of alignment. I started to foam roll every day. That helped some. Then some great twitter friends (@ginaharris1 and @turtlescanrun) told me about stretches for your ITB. I learned those and religiously did them every day. After about 3 days of stretching and rolling I noticed a difference...the popping had lessened. Then after about 5 days the popping stopped! I completely rested from the running and just concentrated on elliptical and biking at the gym to keep my cardio endurance up.

In the meantime, during all of this, my husband developed a severe case or iritis (an inflammation of the iris...basically the body attacks the iris). We just thought it was a case of pink-eye at first, but then the normal pink-eye steroids & antibiotics didn't work. A week later, I'm rushing him to the emergency room because his eyeball is so swollen and he's doubled over in pain. We managed to get him into the ophthalmologist's office and the doctor confirmed that he indeed had a raging case of iritis. But, then the doctor dropped another bomb on us. Usually that means there's something systemic going on in the body. The laundry lists of possible causal illnesses was frightening...lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, histoplasmosis, sarcoidosis.... We had to go to a internist to have a ton of blood vials drawn to run a battery of tests. While they were drawing blood he passed out cold and had to stay in the internists office throwing up for the next 2 hours. They had to finally give him a shot of finagrin just so he could get over the nausea and get home. So, for a week we were on pins and needles waiting to hear the results.

After much prayers and wishes we got good news. All the tests were negative. They couldn't find any causal link for his iritis. The ophthalmologist said that about 30% to 40% of the time they can't find any reason these things flare up.

We managed to get through that ordeal (he's 100% better now and regained full sight in that eye - no damage whatsoever!) and then the holidays hit. Mad dash to the in-laws for Christmas. They're great people, but tend to stress both of us out. So, there we were, exhausted and already stressed from everything that was going on and then had to "play nice" for the family. That just about did us in.

And in all this, I didn't have my stress reliever. My running. I felt frustrated, empty, and angry. I had to step back from the whole situation and re-evaluate myself. All I can say is thank God I have a wonderful husband and super, supportive running friends who got me through all this.

With New Year's week I decided to put all the mess and pain and stress and injuries behind me and leave them in 2009. I decided 2010 is going to be an amazing year. I wanted to start the new year out with a slow and easy run to test out the ITB. And guess what. I did it!!! And it didn't hurt!! It was a GREAT run. And to me it was just a sign of what's to come in the months ahead. I'm already back to my sub-10's and just had a great 6 miler today with two miles of sub-9's! I'm trying to run smart. I'm only running about 3 days a week and cross training at the gym the rest of the time on the bike or elliptical.

I didn't really make any big new year's resolutions this year other than to be thankful for the three F's (my family, friends, and my furbabies) and to be thankful for our health. It doesn't take much to put it all into perspective.


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