Monday, July 16, 2012

Oh Hell!

I have had back pain for 7+ years.  I have gone to several doctors and told them that my sciatic nerve was a problem.  I have been given lots of reasons for why it may be aggravated and I have been given numerous PT exercises to help.

The problem is I have a high pain tolerance so I think I really underplayed how bad it hurts.  Like the time that we were at our friend's house playing board games sitting on the floor.  When we got up to leave my whole right leg was shooting with pain and I just stood there smiling, finishing the conversation but really with about a 9 on the JCAHO pain scale.  Or that day in Pilate's when my back and legs felt like they were on fire.

I have done massage, Pilate's, yoga, acupuncture and PT.  I went back for my follow up with my new doctor and she was pretty sure I still had preforms and that I really need to stretch.  But she said that since the pain had been going on so long I maybe should get an MRI. 

The MRI itself was fine.  Nice and air conditioned- no claustrophobia.  Really nice tech.  Twenty minutes no big deal.  And then I got the results.

I know uteruses not spines so I can't really say what it is.  Words like bulge, L-4 to L-5, severe and surgical consult were what stood out when I say the results on "My chart"  The call from my doctor confirmed it all.  I have some significant bone change.  My L-4 is pushed onto my L-5 and there is some nerve "uplifting"  I get to have a surgical consult in two weeks.

I don't want surgery.  I don't want injections.  I'll take PT thank you very much.  But my Dr. said she wasn't sure that was an option.  Great!  I'm now on a " no running profile" (my military brother in law has been living with me if you can't tell).  I also have to be careful with biking, lifting, hiking, etc.  I don't like it one bit.

Monday, July 2, 2012


The last few weeks have been crazy since I went from running Ragnar to gutting and rebuilding my kitchen.  I had spotty Internet at home for some reason and have been working dawn until dusk so I have neglected my cyber life.

The kitchen is a story of its own and another post. 

The morning of Ragnar I met my van at one of the lady's house so that we could decorate.  Being the L&D Mammas and Pappas we went with a birth theme for our van.  I brought the old posters that I planned to get rid of and we taped them all over the van.  We painted phrases such as "keeping pushing" and "breathe through it" all over the windows and then wrote APGARS on the windshield.  Yes, hospital employees are odd.  But the real kicker was Esmarilda- our birthing mamma.  We have a cloth doll that "births a baby" that we use for our siblings classes.  We strapped her to the front of the van with the baby's head sticking out.  We pinned the baby in real tight so we didn't have a precipitous birth on the freeway and off we went.  I do have more pictures that I will post when I have my camera.

Poor Esmarilda was a precipitous birth for 35 hours

Our van was both fun and educational

Needless to say, our van got a lot of comments.  We think it was the best van since it was both fun and educational.  We would sit at the rest stops waiting for our runner and watch people saunter around it pretending to be doing something else but really checking out the posters  Then we would hear them explaining birth to their friends.  We just laughed and laughed.

Our van 1 started at 7:00 AM and we hooked up at about 1:30 and waited for our runner B to get in.  She had been running great so we were about 20 minutes early at the hand off.  Our first runner R (my boss) was really nervous.  She really wanted/needed to accomplish this but hadn't trained as much as she wanted.  Finally B came in and R took off.  I was the hand off from R so about an hour later I took the slap stick and did my first run.  It was only a 3.4 fairly flat and I should have done it in about 35-38 minutes but it was about 95 degrees and my knee was still giving me issues so it took me 41ish minutes.  My team met me at 2 miles with water (bless you because my water was hot by then) and then I handed of the bracelet to A.  A handed to M and then M handed to K.  Several hours passed in that time.  Poor K had a long (7 miles) incredibly steep uphill run so we sat in the parking lot for a long time.  But that part was cool (time and mountains) and the scenery was beautiful.  We saw three people come in injured one with a sideways knee, one who seemed to just need some hydration and one lady who was hooked to an IV.  The IV lady looked bad.  So we were glad that K came in doing OK- tired but OK. Our last runner S had an easy 2 and then we went to B's house for dinner and nap. 

We turned off the lights at 10 PM and tried to rest- I was on the floor with just a pillow and blanket though so rest isn't what I would call it.  At 12:30 AM we got the call to head to East Canyon to start over.  This was a long leg.  R had a 3.5 uphill and her back was hurting but she pushed through.  It was hard waiting outside in the cold for the hand off but K was there with me to take my blanket. Finally I got the stick and had my most beautiful 7 mile downhill from the Summit County line to Hennifer.  It was about 3 AM when I started and it took me about 80 minutes.  My back light fell off at one point and broke but my van came around just about then and traded me out for headlight back light combo which was much easier to run in.  I got 7 "kills" on that run.  ( A roadkill is when you pass someone).  I handed off to A and then took a nap in the van while she did a 10 mile.  Around this time we started to worry about S who was not feeling well and had some GI issues.

Everyone else ran (all long runs to they took time) so by the time it was S's turn it was hot and she had a long yucky run.  She struggled and we were worried.  We were still in a pack (lots of vans in the parking lots) but they began to dwindle and we worried that we wouldn't finish before 10 PM.  At the hand off for Van 1 we found out that we could start Van 1 and 2 at the same time to cut some time but it also meant we didn't get to rest while 1 ran.  We decided to do that.  We also got massages while waiting because the PT school had people there getting internship hours.  And I had my foot taped for the fascitis which really wasn't too bad.

After talking to the Ragnar staff about our deviation to the run they also told us that we could double up runners so that we still got our miles but would still be able to finish.  Since S was still not feeling well I ran with her so instead of my 5.5 moderate, I did the 7.4 very hard.  It was hard but we took it slow.  S and I had a good time talking while jog- walk-running.  I would have actually liked to do that one myself and go faster but it was great.

Then we got to the end where the team meets runner 12 and we all run and cross the finish line together.  It was great!

Now I have my medal and car sticker! 

Ragnar is great and challenging.  Its not an easy thing and you have to be in a van with people you can be with for 36 hrs straight- no showers, less than ideal eating and cramped conditions.  I loved my team (two of whom I hadn't met until a few days before) and I would do it again if invited.