Friday, February 27, 2015

Recovery

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Boy, February blew by in a blast! Troy is coming home from U of M for the weekend to celebrate his 19th, or 4.75th birthday!  My Leap Year baby. I’m looking forward a weekend with the family. We’ll spend time in St Cloud with Tyler, tomorrow.

Thought I’d post an update on the Morton’s Neuroma surgery.  My foot is healing very  well. I have no more pain-a bit of swelling when I over-do it. I am able to run/jog a few miles before I can feel that it has had enough. I’m good with that. Eventually I’ll add more miles.

Last week while running I noticed that my knee began to swell and there was quite a bit of pain. WTH? I kept running, figuring it would go away. Yeah, well it didn’t. It swelled more. I’ve been icing and massaging, trying to get it to go down. Whatever.

I’ve been back in the gym the past two weeks now that I can place full weight on my foot. I need to do SOMETHING to lessen my anxiety/depression. I know that running served that cause in the past and am finding other ways to alleviate the symptoms. I find myself wondering if booze served that cause in the past? I suppose so.  Lifting is certainly helping. I did an 8 week CrossFit bootcamp which was a lot of fun. Now I’m lifting heavy shit again. I love it.



So it goes. Living each day the best I can. Life is GOOD!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

4 YEARS POST HYSTERECTOMY AND RUNNING

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Hysterectomy Recovery For Runners: the phrase that is most searched that reaches my blog.  I thought I'd take the time to complete a follow up on my hysterectomy related to running.

It’s been 4 years since my radical complete hysterectomy. Time has really moved along!  I had it all removed vaginally: the  uterus, the fallopian tubes, the ovaries, the cervix. I had surgery at Mayo in Rochester after my mother, grandmother and aunts were diagnosed with ovarian cancer and cervical cancer.  I had been having a vaginal ultrasound and CA125 (blood test) every 6 months since my Mother’s diagnosis, 9  years ago. Once the tumors on my ovaries began to grow and my CA125 began to increase, it was time to go under the knife.



First of all, there is SO MUCH MISINFORMATION regarding running and hysterectomy!  Who writes that shit? I was truly scared that I wouldn’t run again after all of the garbage I read. I even read from multiple sources that women NEED high levels of estrogen to run. Why? How? What? Ridiculous!



After I had decided to have the hysterectomy I began to look up articles relating to women, hysterectomy and ultra running. There isn’t much out there. I found a site called Hystersisters that had a few running articles available from women but most were dismal, depressing and had the ‘why me’ syndrome. Give me a break.



(if you click on  Hysterectomy  on the left bar you will find all of my hysterectomy related posts)



So, yes, I do run. I run many miles. I love running now just as much as I did prior to hysterectomy.  If you are here researching running and hysterectomy let me tell you that YOU WILL RUN again!  Do not fear that you will have to sit on the couch and become inactive other than the bon bons to the mouth syndrome. Not so. There are changes, however.



I am 50 now. I had my surgery at 46. I hadn’t even started menopause and I believe that banging full force into menopause via hysterectomy is more difficult on one that mellowing up to it…naturally experiencing  a reduction of hormones. I began hot flashes while in the hospital, the day after the surgery. They are still constant and very intense but hey, I can live with them. I no longer change my sheets during the middle of the night..I just go back to sleep in a pile of wet sheets. I became very tired of changing sheets every night. Forget it!



Due to the constant hot flashes I now keep the house at 67F. I’m never cold. I used to keep the house at 72F. No thanks! 



At work I always froze. FROZE!  I wore multiple layers and never removed them. I wore lots of fleece. Now I wear 2 layers and always remove one during the day.



I run with many zippers! I sometimes feel like a hot sausage running down the trail. Zippers allow me to let the steam escape and cool down. Whew! Then I get cold and zip back up.



After the hysterectomy I incurred injury. I experienced a double-whammy. While recovering from hysterectomy I laid upon the couch, looking at my iPhone and iPad, I watched TV with my neck to my chin..I guess. Apparently that movement caused stress upon my spine. I didn’t know it until July, but I herniated two discs in my upper spine-neck at this time.  Painful as hell.



(if you click on herniated discs on the left you will see my posts relating to the discs)



I began to walk slowly in the week  following surgery and by week  two I was walking 4-5 miles each day. Really!



At 6 weeks my surgeon released my restrictions and told me to run freely!  I did!  I was feeling fabulous and began to train for a March half marathon. It went great-other than a bit of dizziness. 

click on Get Luck Half Marathon for the report



After a few months I was feeling a numbness in my right arm. I thought it was due to reaching for the phone at work but eventually was in so much fricken pain I couldn’t run. That is when I learned I had herniated discs. Ugh!



That recovery sucked big time – 4 months or so, but eventually all was well in my world and I was running hundreds again and completely forgot about the herniated discs that I had.



Fast forward a few years and I roll my ankle at Eugene Curnow Trail Marathon. Fractured Ankle.  Superior 100 a few months later. Broken Ankle.Same Ankle. I didn't let it heal.



While recovering from the broken ankle I became depressed.  My mom had passed away from ovarian cancer, my nest was going to become empty soon as Troy would be leaving for college, I was gaining weight with the inactivity. I went to my doctor who I've had since 1991 and decided to go on an antidepressant. They help.



After the ankle healed I went off the antidepressant and continued with my running goals. I thoroughly enjoyed last year. I had a great year. Ran a few marathons, 50Ks, 50 milers and two hundreds. Love that. The depression lifted.



Then Morton’s Neuroma  reared its ugly head.  I found myself depressed, went back on the anti depressant and am now healing. Thank goodness! Now, men have broken ankles and neuroma and this probably isn’t all due to hysterectomy. It’s just ironic that I have rolled ankles before but never broke one!  I had never worn Hokas with a roll though, before, either.  These injuries are probably due to overuse, age, hysterectomy, a bit of everything. 

But why aren't there many women in their 50s and 60s running 100s? That's my big question. I don't understand. In our 50s our children are grown and gone..I would think we have more time to spend to train and travel. Wouldn't it be a great time to run ultras?



After receiving the blood work, blood pressure, cholesterol counts and scale weight at the clinic I had a long conversation with my awesome doctor and we knew what I needed to do to change those results. We went through all of my data. We spoke of what is different now from when I had my healthiest test results. High blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, cancer..it all runs rampant in my family. My numbers were best while I was eating a vegan diet 2008-2010. Interestingly enough I ran all my PRS from 50K to 100 mile during that time.



(If you click vegan on the left bar you’ll see the related posts)

(if you click Leanhorse you will see the vegan training/outcome)




Just  know, you will run again after hysterectomy. It doesn’t have to have any bearing upon your running at all. Don’t use it as a reason NOT to have hysterectomy. Hysterectomy will affect other areas of your life- you may experience some depression, some weight gain, some injuries, some hot flashes, some memory loss..or you may not..but it doesn’t have to change anything  about your running! You will run again!



If you have ANY questions relating to running and hysterectomy or anything else, please ask! Drop me a comment, let me know how you are dealing with hysterectomy and running or what your fears may be.









Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Recovery from removal of Morton's Neuroma






Recovery!


I had surgery for removal of Morton’s Neuroma on January 9. It was a pretty painful recovery for the first few days, but nothing like walking around with a tennis ball under my foot prior to surgery. I experienced quite a bit of burning, swelling and immobility. I sat in the recliner with ice on my leg to cool the blood going into my foot and kept my foot raised for the first few days. I took a few pain killers those first few days but then was ok with Advil.

My surgeon restricted work, driving and activity for the first week. She told me that if I over-did it my foot would let me know. Last Sunday I over-did it.  I went to WalMart before Church and then to my sister’s home to visit her new puppy. My foot burned all night long. I couldn’t imagine having the stitches taken out the next day and going without my surgical shoe.

Yesterday I drove Troy back to the U of M after his 5 week Winter Break at home. I then drove myself to my surgeon. She removed all of the dressings, pulled out the stitches and told me I could run next week!  I couldn’t believe it. I couldn’t believe that I would be wearing my Inov-8s home. Yup. I slid into the shoe and walked around a bit.  Amazing. She wrote me a medical note for work releasing me of all restrictions, work and otherwise. Woot!

After I arrived home I told Topaz we’d go for a slow walk.  We walked up and down the driveway a few times. It never felt so great!

My foot looks ugly and sore..but it is getting better each and every day. Yippee!


Tuesday, December 30, 2014

The BIG 5-0!

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My 50th Birthday=10 year Bloggerversary!

I am not sure what is more surprising to me..that I am 50 years old or that I have been blogging for 10 years?

50.  I really can’t believe it. . I feel blessed to have reached this number! I have so many good friends who have reached and passed 50 and 60 with such strength and grace. I am in great company!

Running wise 2014 was a good year for me. I was able to heal from my broken ankle I suffered at Superior 100, 2013. I wasn’t sure how my comeback would go. I was able to finish Zumbro 50 Mile, Savage 100 Mile, Afton 50K, Voyageur 50 Mile and Superior 100.  That’s a victory! I reached all of my goals.

Unfortunately it came at a cost! I’ll have this Morton’s Neuroma removed on January 9. I’m anxious to get this done and to begin the healing process. 

I’m a goal setter. I just am not happy with lollygagging along, it’s not in my make-up. I've tried running 3-5 miles for fun daily and it just isn't me. Someday it may be, but not now. For 2015 I still hope to run Gnarly Bandit.  The only obstacle I see here is whether or not I’m healed and trained for Zumbro 100 in April. I’d prefer to have some high mileage weeks in at this time, but, alas, that is not happening. My foot is just too painful to run upon for more than 4 miles.  I am not going to rush it. Ha!

50 years old...time to get in the best shape of my life..to run the races that make me feel alive! Cheer to 50 and 2015. I've got this! 

Happy New Years to all of you! Make 2015 your best so far!  I will, too!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Morton's Neuroma Surgery


I have made the decision to have foot surgery. Surgery will take place on January 9 at the Centennial Lakes Surgery Center by Dr. Judith Hector of Twin Lakes Ankle and Foot Clinic. After a few opinions I found my way to her via  Helen Scotch and Valeria LaRosa, a friend and fellow ultra runner who had her perform the same procedure a few years ago, successfully. I’m praying that my outcome is the same.


I’ve had two shots of cortisone to no avail, tried pads, wider shoes, taping and separating of the toes. Nothing is working.  

I first noticed this pain while running Superior 100. I thought there was  a blister on the ball of my foot but there was nothing that I could see. There were blisters everywhere else!  As I healed and recovered from finishing Superior 100, the pain in the ball of my foot never went away. It felt like I was walking on an acorn.

Morton’s Neuroma is the diagnosis I received after my first appointment that I made with a sports doc.  I had a shot of cortisone which did nothing. I then went to Dr. Judith Hechter of Twin Cities Ankle and Foot Clinic where I received another shot of cortisone and a lengthy discussion of treatments. I’ve tried them all.  After another appointment this week I’ve decided to have surgery.

I’ll go in at 945 on Friday the 9th and will be back home in the afternoon. She will make an incision at the top of the foot, inbetween  toes 3 and 4. She’ll cut and remove the nerve and neuroma.  I’ll have about 20 stitches and wear an open toed surgical shoe for 10 days.  Over the weekend I’ll keep the foot elevated. On the third day I’ll meet with the doctor again to make sure there is no infection and to confirm that I’m doing well.  I will be able to work, to drive, etc. 

Dr. Hechter says the neuroma is quite large. The size of a quarter. I wasn't surprised.



I’m tiring of this non running business. Once a week really isn’t cutting it. After the Donut Run I was in extreme pain. Each time I run the pain is worse and the nerve zings me for the remainder of the day and the next. It’s really quite horrible.Walking on an acorn is one thing, constant zinging is another.

Walking is painful, running is worse. Swimming is boring. The elliptical hurts. I am able to stand it one place with little weight on the foot and lift weights. At least that is something. 

I recovered from hysterectomy. I recovered from a broken ankle. I’ll recover from this, too. It isn’t easy though. I’m feeling overwhelmed.  I feel like my sobriety is being tested. Like my mental health is being tested. I feel like I’m getting fat – ter by the day.  Maybe it is the first empty nest during the holidays, maybe it is the anniversary of my mom’s death, maybe it turning 50 and not running Across the Years, who knows.

It’s only my foot. It isn’t cancer, right? Buck up, girl.


Tuesday, December 09, 2014

25K Donut Run: 2014


I was so excited to see that Jordan was going to offer another Donut Run! If you remember I took part in this run last year and had an absolute blast. 

Interestingly enough last year  as of race day I hadn’t had a run longer than 5 mile distance after breaking my ankle at Superior 100 in September. I ran 16.5 at the Donut Run and was feeing fine. Healed!

This  year as the run approached I had not run longer than 6 mile distance since Twin Cities Marathon in October as I have been dealing with Morton’s Neuroma injury which took place at Superior 100 in September.  That Superior 100, it tries to do me in.  I can’t wait to run it again in 2015!

The Donut Run is a FREE run that is the brain child of Jordan. This was the third annual, I believe. Last year there were under 50 that took part, this year over 150 were going to start! 

Jordan offered a 5 mile, a 10 mile and a 17 mile run. The course that  I chose was the 17 mile again..I figured I’d turn around and head back to Lake Nakomis if my nerve became unruly.  Deep down I knew I’d suck it up and run the 17 regardless.

I was wondering if after all of the fun I had last year if this  year would seem like a let down. You know how that sometimes happens?  Not with runs, but with other things in life?  There was no let down. I had a blast.

I arrived to Lake Nokomis at 735. Pretty early for the 800 start but I thought parking might be a pain. It wasn’t. I found a spot and meandered to the start where I knew coffee would be served. After I drank a cup there I refilled my cup and headed to my car to wait.  It was downright balmy outside. Last year it -20F plus high winds. Today it  was 20F with NO winds. The sun was out!  Amazing.

At the start I ran into Maria. Again, as last year, we ran together the  whole way. Yippee! It was quite funny how we ended up together with John Taylor again, just like last year, for most of our run.

We began to run away from Nokomis toward bakery #1, A Baker’s Wife Pastry Shop, (no web page) our first bakery. Neither of us had to use the bathroom  nor were we going to eat here, so we just ran past.



Jordan Photo
 
On our way to bakery #2, Bogart’s Doughnut Co., we ran along toward Lake Harriet and Calhoun. We took the steps up away from the lake and there was Bogart’s. I walked in and became anxious. It was very tiny but smelled delicious.  I went outside to wait, ate a gel here and pulled out my Advil. My foot was killing me. I was trying to spread my toes so that the pressure would be relieved upon my nerve. I purchased  a bottle of water. It was so nice not to have to carry any drink along.  Maria purchased something here…I think it was a Nutella filled donut!  



The sun was shining, it was a beautiful morning. Maria, John, Travis, Mike and a few others were enjoying ourselves while running through the city. We were all smiles, telling stories.

Maria was a compass. She knew where to turn and which bakery was up next.  Isle Bun and Coffee was next. We ran along Lake Calhoun, talking about everything. I enjoyed this run so very much. Maria and I have known each other for many years have loads of fun  with one another. 





Jordan Photo

I could smell bakery #3- Isle Bun and Coffee a few blocks before we approached. I smelled icing, coffee and caramel!  MMMM!  This shop was upscale-Isles area, Uptown. We walked in and the little shop was full of residents and some runners. Maria got in line for a puppy dog tail. They were offering free lemon water. I had a few glasses and went outside to sit in the sun. The sun felt fabulous. I saw down and waited for everyone. Took another Advil and had a gel.

John came out with a mango filled scone, Travis with a puppy dog tail. Travis ordered the last one so they were creating  a new batch for Maria.   They smelled divine.  I stretched, soaked up the sun and smiled. John and Travis ran out ahead.

On to bakery #4, Glam Doll Donuts, which was on our route last year. I love the bright pink Christmas tree, the vibe of the place: big fixtures, lots of ceramic and glass, nice bathroom-which I took advantage of!  Bacon seemed to be the theme here.  






The route between bakery #4 and #5 was the longest stretch of all.  I ate a few gels, an aid station was set up by fabulous volunteers. We ran along the River, soaking in the sunshine and enjoying the view. We spoke of the past, the present and the future. We spoke of races, training , family and life.

Shortly after each of us mentioned that we needed to use a bathroom, one appeared!  While Maria was in the biffy I found an outlook over the River. Just beautiful. I stood there looking out to the river, over to the U of M, thinking that Troy was over in that direction. The sun was shining on my face, warming me up.  I felt at peace. My foot wasn’t getting any worse, I was able to block out the pain. I'm good at that.

Maria and I continued on. We were getting tired. As soon as I mentioned that I  now had to use the bathroom, Maria spotted one. We then moved along, toward bakery #5 Mel-O-Glaze. Lake Nokomis, our finish, was a short distance from the bakery.

We wondered about the Western States 100 mile race lottery. Were we selected? Neither of us run with our phones so we didn’t know. We would soon enough!

We trudged into Mel-O-Glaze and I was surprised that there were no other runners around. We each purchased a dog bone to bring home for Maria’s Tahoe and my Topaz.  They loved them!



We came to my car first after 18.5 miles of fun and happiness. Big hugs good bye with a good luck hug for the lottery!

I would have been so sad had I not been able to take part in this run. It is a blessing to be able to do something that I enjoy so very much. Running, friends, sunshine…I am blessed..



Monday, November 17, 2014

November Post

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This past year I’ve been trying to update my blog each month. It hasn’t been too difficult since I’ve had a race report or two each month. Here it is  November and there will not be a race this month-I feel compelled to at least post.



I was really looking forward to busting in big for my 50th birthday on December 30  but some things just don’t go as we intend. I was hoping to run Across The Years in sunny warm Arizona. The race offers a 24, 48 and 72 hour option. I would literally run from December 29 to December 31, into my 50 th birthday and the new decade. How cool would that have been? Super! 



There is always next year…



I’ve learned a bit more about this Morton’s Neuroma business.



I haven’t been able to run more than a few miles since Twin Cities Marathon on October 5.  I can run one or two miles with a bit of pain and by the third mile the pain is ridiculous. It feels like a giant acorn under my foot. It really sucks.



My friend Val had surgery to remove her neuroma in May and by July she was ready to run the Afton 50K. She went on to run Wasatch 100 in September. She wasn’t able to run for a long time, had the surgery and is as good as new. I’ll go with that plan!



Due to Val’s recommendation I made an appointment for a second opinion with Dr. Judith Hechter at Twin Cities Foot and Ankle Clinic. I’m so glad that I did!  Dr. Hechter examined my foot, she manipulated the neuroma exclaiming that it was excessively large. She told me that the neuroma is beginning to alter the structure of my foot-moving the small bones out to allow for room of the neuroma. She stated that 10% of her patients are runners, about 80% are women who wear narrow tight high heeled shoes and 10% have neuroma due to heredity-narrow foot bones.



Although I had already had one shot of cortisone Dr. Hecter wanted to administer another since she didn’t know if my prior Dr. placed the cortisone correctly. She also gave me a shot of   lidocaine to numb the area. The numbness was delightful.



The plan of action is as follows: if I can’t run 6-10 miles pain free by December 15 I’ll have the neuroma removed. My follow up appointment is December 15.  During surgery she’ll make an incision at the top of my foot, removing the neuroma and nerve. She’ll stitch me back up and I’ll put my foot up for two days, wear a boot for 10, remove my stitches and begin to run.  It’s a simple surgery-I’ll go into the surgical center in the AM, discharge in the PM.  I’ll run happily every after.



Friday I ran road for a few miles and my foot began to hurt. Saturday I ran 4 miles on snowshoe and it felt pretty good. Sunday I ran 3.5 miles on snow covered road and it was good again. I imagine the snow offers a good cushion for my nerve. I’ll keep trying each day. Little by little I’ll be better. Or I’ll have surgery.



I’m excited for the Donut Run!  Running it last year was such a blast I can’t wait to do it again. I’ll run whatever distance my foot will allow, hoping to run the 25K. It’s so darn much fun!!  The run is December 6. During the run I’ll learn if I was selected for the Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run lottery. Whoop!  I have a whole 4% chance at being selected. Yup, lucky me!  December 6 is also Tyler’s 23rd birthday so I’ll end the day with a fun birthday get together centered around a good restaurant dinner. Nice!



In the meantime as I heal this foot I’ve taken up CrossFit again. I have to do something more than run a  few miles each day.  CrossFit allows a fun fast workout that gets my endorphins moving. My brain needs endorphins. I’ve joined CrossFit Fast Factory’s bootcamp group. 3 sessions a week over 8 weeks. By the end of the 8 weeks my foot should be a happy running foot and I probably won’t want to CrossFit anymore because I’ll be spending my time running.  Yay.



Well it’s currently 11F, -2F windchill and a ice and snow landscape. Early winter!  I’m off to bundle up and try out this foot for 5 miles. Letzzz go, Topaz! CrossFit tonight. OK, there’s an update!

EDIT: I just went through my posts and noticed that I have quite a few drafts I never published. I also see that my Superior 100 2014 race report received 7304 views. Seriously?? Wow!