I am looking forward to tomorrow – April 1 – for SO many reasons. Yes, April means Marathon Month. But it also means March is over.
March 2017 has been the worst month of my life. From getting the worst possible news about Rags’ heart on March 3 and saying goodbye to him on March 8, to finishing my run on March 11 in excruciating pain only to find out I had pretty aggressive tendonitis in both shins and my right arch just 4 weeks before the Marathon, to 9 days & counting of “female problems” that began on March 23 and are really zapping my energy level, to just generally not sleeping well at all anymore…I need a fresh start.
Runners talk a lot about personal records (PRs). I’ve set several PRs this training season, but the ones I am most proud of and grateful for are the ones YOU GUYS made possible!
That said, I am just $323.80 shy of my next fundraising milestone – the $7,000 mark. Please support me as I wind down my training and prepare for the big day.
On Saturday, I ran 20 miles. I don’t know how I did it. It was hard. It was raining and 40 degrees. I hadn’t put foot to pavement since March 13 (and those 3 miles were so painful). So I knew it wasn’t going to be my best run, but by god it was going to be my longest.
Mile 10 was the Natick/Wellesley border – the furthest west I’ve ever run on the course.
The first 4 miles were all mostly downhill, AKA quad killers. By this point I was warmed up and feeling good. But almost likely clockwork, the arch of my right foot began bothering mile just after hitting Mile 5. By the time we ran into Coach Jack at Mile 8 and he asked how I was feeling, I said it hurt but felt better if I tried to run on the outside of my right foot. He said that was bad, and would only cause new problems, and asked what my pain was on a scale of 1-10. I said 4. By Mile 10 (our turnaround point) it was about a 6, and by Mile 12 it was about an 8.
Around Mile 13, I went to wipe the sweat from my forehead (I’ve written about this before – I’m a heavy sweater) and there was none. This has literally never happened to me on a run. I asked one of the girls I was running with what that meant, and she said I was probably dehydrated but to ask one of the other girls. When I asked her, she confirmed I was likely dehydrated and/or hyponatremic. I didn’t have the telltale muscle cramps and my dried sweat wasn’t white & salty, so I think it was just dehydration. I stopped, had water and salt tabs and GU and Gatorade all within about a mile of each other, and walked for about 3-4 minutes. She stayed with me the whole time and eventually we caught up to everyone at a red light, but it was scary. I think I panicked more than anything, so when someone asked if I felt OK, I suddenly got tunnel vision and thought I might pass out but that was most likely just an anxiety attack/hypochondria. I ended up being fine, and honestly that little episode took my mind off the pain. Continue reading
To say my training has been eratic over the last few weeks would be an understatement. I’ve already written about that here, but I wasn’t expecting to be paying for it physically when I’m already mentally drained.
After the long run on March 11, my arches and shins were in excruciating pain. I knew I needed to swap out my shoes, so I wore them for Sunday’s errands to keep breaking them in, and then I wore them for my Monday morning run before work. I also KT-taped my shins – doing my left leg differently than my right to see which felt better – but neither really helped. My right arch was also searing with pain. Another fun thing ALMOST happened but I averted a crisis and let’s just say I made it home in time…literally running from the end of my run, into my building, up 3 flights of stairs, and into my apartment with milliseconds to spare. Continue reading
Rags no longer being part of my life means I have a lot more time to myself. I’m trying to see the silver living in this, but it hasn’t been easy. On Thursday morning, the day after, I had no idea what time to get up for work. Walking Rags, feeding him, changing his water bowls, and in recent months, giving him his meds, has always been part of my morning routine. I always built in some time for cuddling. It used to be that when my alarm went off, we’d cuddle while I hit the snooze button a few times. And if I got ready faster than planned, I’d lie on my bed with him and cuddle for a few extra minutes before I headed out the door.
When he first got sick about 6 months ago, I refused to do just about anything after work. I worked from home on Thursdays that I could be with him all day before going on my Thursday night team runs, but otherwise I came straight home after work and never left again. I think I went to the gym once and to get a haircut once during those 6 months. I went on runs before or after work, but honestly slacked with my weekday runs because I wanted to be home with him instead. On weekends, I barely left except for Saturday long runs, coming straight home afterward, or to run errands as quickly as possible. It’s true that my social life suffered in the last 6 months, but that’s because I would have rather been with him than anywhere else in the world. Do I regret missing outings with friends? Not really. Would I have regretted missing time with Rags that I could never get back? Absolutely. I know I made the right choice every time I prioritized him above myself.
The power of corporate matching just got me past the $6,000 mark! If you aren’t sure if your company matches charitable gifts, checkwww.matchinggifts.com/dana-farber or better yet – ask your HR department. Some companies match 2x or 3x!
Even though I just hit the $4,000 mark on Friday night, I received a huge donation from “a friend of Rags” on Sunday, pushing me up and over the $5,000 fundraising minimum (meaning my credit card won’t be charged!).
I’ve actually received four donations in memory of Rags, and I can’t even begin to tell you guys what that means. No, he didn’t have cancer, and although training for the marathon meant time away from him, I believe this journey has made me a better, stronger person. 6 months ago, I don’t know that I would’ve been strong enough to make the decision to let him go. He taught me so much about myself, as has working toward my goal of completing 26.2 miles, and you can bet I will be thinking of him a lot on April 17.
I am now halfway to my $10,000 goal with just over a month until Marathon Monday!