Monday, March 20, 2017

That Only Took Six Years

I haven't been very good about keeping my resolution to write in this blog, but I have been writing at least a little bit elsewhere. For the most part, the writing I'm doing isn't structured. I'm blogging in my cheese review blog, doing a few Yelp reviews and working on a few side projects. Everything with the book I coauthored with Brad and Kevin is a go. It's scheduled to come out in June. You can preorder a copy of "Young Runners at the Top" here:

Overall, things are going relatively well, especially in the work and volunteering departments. Running wise, I was happy to earn a post surgery (x8) PR in a little time trial I did. The last time I ran anywhere close to the time I did (20:25 up NCAR road from the little library on Table Mesa) was in 2011. I didn't time it exactly in 2011, though. I estimated the final outcome based on a glance at my watch before I started and again after I finished, which isn't as accurate as actually starting and stopping a stopwatch, but the two times are close, both under 21 minutes, which is good for me running solo in a slight headwind up a big hill in too much clothing for the nice weather we had over the weekend. I still seem to struggle in the last half of the run. It's more uphill the second half, of course, but that's where I should shine. Instead, I feel like the monkey jumps on my back every time, even when I tell myself, "I'm going to attack the last hill this time." I pass Vassar Drive on the right-hand side in good shape, and GULP! it's still a long way to go from there.

There are times I can't tell if it's more of a heart valve leak situation or a lack of fitness situation when my breathing gets off kilter. My solution so far has been to back off slightly and ease back into a faster pace when I feel more on top of things. For the last five minutes of this timed run, though, all I was doing was trying to put on foot in front of the other and move in any kind of a forward motion. Toward the end, I thought anything under 21 minutes had slipped away, so I was pleased to see my watch at 20:25 when I got to the top.

Apparently, I ran hard, because a woman told me I looked pale and asked if I was OK when I stopped. Another lady on a bike coming up the road asked if I was OK when I decided to retie my shoe on my cooldown run down the big hill. I thanked them both for their concern and their kindness. I don't think either was interested in my petite accomplishment, so I kept that to myself. Everyone was super nice that day, and it made me smile and put an extra spring in my step. I love days like that, even if they end in cramps and an unexpected shedding of my female parts in what has become a bimonthly affair. Big picture. 

I attribute my improvement, even if it's slight, to working with some really great physical therapists in town. Three, in particular, have given me big pieces of the puzzle, keys to the mystery that is my wonky body. That, and I'm actually doing the therapy, the homework part of it, which isn't easy. Sometimes these exercises and stretches haunt me, but I'm working it all out. Running is something that's starting to feel better, and it's almost like a long-lost friend has reentered my life. I'm far from 100 percent, though. My hips still click and catch. When the band (possibly the iliopsoas?) on my right side snaps and moves in the middle of a run, it's unsettling, downright scary even, but it's more noisy and uncomfortable than outright painful. The left is silent but occasionally shoots pain and still feels weak. My feet are also a bit of a mess and often painful, and my endometriosis still rears its ugly head. But there are times I feel really fucking good, all things considered. Within the confines of what my body can handle at this time, I'm doing well. That's why this next surgery is much harder to take than those I have faced in the past when I was in too much pain to do much of anything. 

Yes, I'm headed in for my 9th foot surgery at the end of the month. I have a cyst in my left foot. It's unpleasant. I now run (and walk) with a big, felt doughnut around the bump to keep the pressure off, which helps. Still, the thing sits on the top of my foot looking like an alien waiting to burst through the skin. It's distressing and often painful. I'm also considering one last surgery on the right foot to see if the doc can get my second toe back in alignment. Right now, the joint is dislocated. I keep thinking an amputation would solve this problem and know there are people who have had this done, but there's a chance that lengthening the top tendon once more could provide some relief. I'm hesitant, though. It's a big surgery with a long recovery time and not a guarantee that the toe would slide back into a better position. It's a lot to think about.

And some good news regarding the fire west of Boulder that occurred on Sunday. Though none of the neighborhoods in the city had to evacuate and only one small area near 4th and Mapleton was on notice, areas west of us did evacuate but were allowed back today. Fortunately, no structures were lost. Unfortunately, 76 acres burned: