Saturday, September 5, 2015

MCM 2015: Week #13

This has been the most emotionally draining week of training so far! On Monday evening, I started to feel some back pain. I woke up on Tuesday and still felt it, but it wasn't too bad and I could do the trainer ride. I later went to swim. By the evening, the pain was absolutely dreadful. It got so bad overnight that it woke me up and I had to take ibuprofen just to get some sleep. I never take OTC meds. So I knew it was bad.

Wednesday morning I woke up still in pain. I had tried to do a heating pad, ice, and a new rub that I got from an essential oils company and nothing really helped. Obviously, I canceled my run for the day and spent time researching doctors. I decided to start with a chiropractor because our copay is less than 1/2 of what it is for an orthopedist or sports doctor, but I knew I wanted a different one than I used before. Called around but nobody could get me in until Friday at the earliest. Ugh.

I was trying very hard not to freak out. A phone call from the chiropractor's office didn't help. Turns out our current insurance plan doesn't differentiate between chiropractic and specialist. Both are $60 each. And PT would also be a $60 copay. There is simply no way we can afford that. I was so sad! When I got home from my Dance Taxi duties, I decided to take an epsom salts bath. I felt so much better when I got out! I applied the essential oil rub again and went to bed. I woke up feeling like a totally new person! I skipped my trainer ride but I was feeling well enough to swim.

I continued to feel good on Thursday. I kept stretching and doing yoga for my back and hips and applying the rub to my back. I slept pretty well on Thursday night and on Friday morning I decided to cancel the appointment with the first doctor. I have another appointment scheduled for next Wednesday with my first choice chiro but I decided to leave that one in place pending the rest of the week.

I ran on Friday morning - just a 40 minute easy run. My training plan called for 16 miles as a long run and I did not want to get into that to find out that running would hurt my back. I could feel my back, but that is common for me when I have an area that's bothering me. I seem to hyperfocus on it. I worked on relaxing my shoulders and back as often as it came to mind. I had full range of motion stretching after the run so I decided as long as I felt good all day, I would attempt the long run!

I barely slept last night leading into this 16 mile run. I decided to stick close to home just in case it didn't go well. I also had to think about my nutrition as I was going over a half marathon distance for the first time. My friend, Julie, uses UCAN to fuel her full marathons so I asked for her advice! She suggested taking the 2nd serving of UCAN in a bottle, carrying it with you, and then dumping the bottle. That's so simple! I just have to see if I will be allowed to carry in a full bottle at MCM.

I arrived at the park before the sun came up. It was darker than I was expecting, but luckily there was a huge soccer tournament going on and people were already starting to arrive!

Boy, do I look tired! And I haven't even started!
Even though it was going to be warm, I wanted to wear the top and capris I am thinking of wearing during the race. That's one reason I started so early.

Overall, the run went very well. I had to adjust my route to avoid the very crowded soccer fields, but the baseball fields were empty so I just did more loops on that side. No biggie. I ran for about 2 hours and then picked up my bottle of UCAN and drank it during my walk breaks. The thick texture was hard to handle at first since I wasn't used to drinking it during a run. Last year I took in my extra UCAN on the bike and that was different. I was afraid I would have a "sloshy" feeling while running but I didn't!

I was feeling utterly blessed with each step! Just a few days prior to this run I was afraid I wouldn't even be able to do it! I was afraid my road to MCM was derailed! It felt so good to be able to train!

I started feeling weak in the last mile or so. My legs just felt weird. I wasn't sure what was going on and felt a little aggravated and out of shape. Well, while I was doing my cool down walk, it dawned on me that I hadn't taken in any electrolytes during the entire run! I had filled a bottle with water intending to put Nuun tablets into it this morning on my way out the door but I completely forgot! And it never, ever dawned on me! Yikes!

The bottle that was in the cooler that was supposed to contain my electrolytes!

The bottle of electrolytes I purchased at the concession stand! 
I walked myself over to the soccer fields to see if the concession stand was open - it was and Powerade was only $2, which is all the cash I had with me! LOL It was absolutely perfect! It was very cold and I drank it down quickly and it helped me to feel much better right away!

Better than an ice bath!
I took my Powerade and went to stretch under the pavillion an then over to the water feature to soak my feet in the frigid water! Overall, I hit a home run by choosing this park for my long run today!

I have felt good the rest of the day! I got my turkey sandwich that I was craving after my run, and I even took a nice 2 hour nap! As soon as I finish writing this post, I am going to take another epsom salts bath! :) And then I'll probably go to bed again! I am really, really drained from this week. I'm so glad it ended up on such a good note, and I will not take any of these steps I'm making during training for granted!

7 weeks until Race Day!


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