A Weeklong Update: Two Races

OK, I’m definitely behind on updates.

I’ve run two races since surgery now. The first was the Long Meddowe Days Road Race on May 21, last Saturday. It wasn’t terrible. I finished in 29:55. The timing system never showed up, but my watch said I finished in 29:54 so I’d say they were pretty dang close at estimating. I was one of 69 people who ran, and ended up 47th place overall and 5th in my age group. Not great, but most of the people who ran were pretty legit runners so I’m OK with it.

Afterward, my face was beat red. I really had hoped being able to breathe through my nose would help the insane redness I get during runs, but apparently it has not. My face was still a little flushed two hours later—after breakfast, a shower, and some down time.

Overall, I felt OK during the race. It was chilly at the starting line but it was a cloudless morning so I was pretty warm by the end. I ended up wearing capris since it was so chilly at first. Continue reading

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Been Running

Yup, I’ve been running. And working. A lot. So I’ve just been too busy to update. I think I’ve logged 4-5 runs now since last week when I said I hadn’t run in a month. They haven’t been great runs, but they haven’t been terrible either. I am trying to be kind to my body, and remind myself that surgery is traumatic and it’s not like I can just pick up where I left off a month ago after everything my body has been through in the last month (about 5 weeks now).

What a difference the surgery has made. First of all, I can breathe through my nose—all the time, but especially now when I’m running. I still can’t run with my mouth closed, but I can get air into and out of my nose through my nose! Even more awesome is that I am not wiping away tears from a bulging right eye every 30 seconds. Knowing that, I didn’t bring tissues on my first post-surgery run. Instead, I blew a snot rocket when my nose got drippy. BIG MISTAKE. I absolutely have no shame about blowing snot rockets on runs. However, I am not supposed to be pushing on my nose (doing my makeup still hurts) nor blowing out of just one nostril, and blowing a snot rocket involves both. Ouch! Won’t do that again any time soon. That still means I need to carry tissues, but at least I don’t need a whole box for a 3-mile run. I now carry one for each mile I plan to run.

The ear drops are helping a bit, but the pain is now in both ears, so I am using them twice a day in both ears instead of just my left. Taking Claritin every morning seems to have completely eliminated my weird, long-lasting penicillin allergy (itchy rash, hives) so it’s one more medication on my list but one less annoying, embarrassing thing to deal with. Also, I usually take Claritin all spring/summer every year. I was just hoping with my new sinuses I wouldn’t need it anymore, but that was probably an unrealistic hope.

Tomorrow is my first race since March. I know it’s not going to be a great race for me time-wise, so I’m just going to enjoy my first-ever race in my hometown, on what is supposed to be a cloudy, 60-degree morning—nearly perfect conditions, in my opinion. I’d prefer 70 and cloudy but this means I’ll sweat less.

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Sinus Surgery Update: 1 Month Post-Op

Friday was the one-month mark from my surgery. It seems like it flew by…probably because I missed a week of my life and felt like crap for another week.

I had my 1-month post-op appointment this morning. The surgeon first looked in my ears because I told him about the lingering pain I’ve had in my left ear for about 2.5 weeks (it had resolved for a few days but came back a lot worse last week). He said nothing looked unusual but he prescribed me antibiotic/steroid ear drops to use for a week.

After getting the terrible numbing spray (terrible because it tastes awful and also numbs your throat and lasts for about an hour), he looked up both sides of my nose. He said there was some crusting, which is probably because I stopped doing my sinus rinses on Friday – they seemed to be no longer productive (AKA nothing gross coming out of my for the previous 5 days or so), so he suctioned that out and said everything else looked “pretty good.” I guess it takes a while to look “great” inside there after this big of a surgery. I go back in 3 months, and don’t need to do the sinus rinses anymore unless I want to.

On my walk back to the office, Walgreens called to say they don’t have my ear drops in stock so they’re being filled at the CVS nearby instead – without me even asking for that. I’m surprised they’d call a competitor to see if they could fill something urgent for me, but it was great that they did. Kudos to you, Walgreens!

My Last Run? One Month Ago

It’s official – I have not run or otherwise exercised in more than a month. I’m a little disappointed in myself, but mostly not. I REALLY underestimated how long it was going to take to recover from my sinus surgery. I felt a lot better by last week, including finally getting over my ear infection, but I was exhausted beyond belief. I was getting up every morning at 6am and falling asleep by 8pm. There simply was no time to work out nor did I have the energy. I also learned the hard way that I am allergic to penicillin. Apparently, you can take penicillin for 2 weeks, be perfectly fine, and suddenly develop itchy hives AFTER you stop taking it. What?! It has been 10 days since I finished the antibiotics, and I am still having a reaction. It’s so weird – it comes and go, all over my body. It seems to be mostly my arms, neck, shins and ankles, but it has been other places as well – with no rhyme or reason. I even had them all over one butt cheek last one. Seriously! For a while, I thought it was my new shampoo. So I switched back to my old kind, to no avail. I tried a completely allergen-free kind, no luck. Finally I did some research and spoke to the nurse at my surgeon’s office and sure enough, it sounded just like a delayed penicillin allergy. Well, I guess I know for next time…? Continue reading

6 Things You Need to Know Before Running Your First Marathon

I came across this article recently, which is very timely – I’m seriously considering applying to run the Boston Marathon as a charity runner in 2017 if all goes well with the 10K (June) and Half (October) and everything in between.

For me, the biggest takeaway was: “…although most first-timers can properly train in 18 to 22 weeks, you aren’t ready to start training until your long runs are into the double digits.” I’m not there yet. The longest I’ve run is one 4-mile run and one 5-mile run. Granted my Half training plan has that changing in the next few weeks, but it’s still nuts to think about how very far away I am from being even remotely close to ready for 26.2.

#5 always seemed wrong to me. Prior to my last job, I really didn’t know much about running a marathon. But even training for a 5K, I knew I needed to be able to run 3 miles before I signed up for one. Or at least that’s what I thought. Adrenaline in an amazing thing. I’m pretty sure the Dana-Farber team gets up to 22 miles during their group long runs, but no more. Given how tough everyone says the Boston course is, I think that’s why runners tend to get up to 22 rather than the recommended 18-20.