Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Medical and Marathons

Wow, I can't believe it's been over a week. Sorry for the silence, but I was out of town and then crazy-busy catching up! I still need to read everyones' blogs - I've really missed hearing what everyone is up to! As soon as I finish this post, I'm going to start reading.

On the medical front, everything checked out fine. Whew. It was basically a physical, but it was a little more extensive than I had anticipated when I set the initial appointment. History: At the end of the year, my wonderful orthopoedist scheduled year-end MRIs of my spine and pelvis just to check things out. I have 2 herniated discs, so we like to keep on top of them because of all the running. Anyway, the pelvic MRI showed some "issues," so my doc said I had to have a colonoscopy - yuck. I decided to have it done at Mayo because my husband is a patient there and has really liked the team approach - basically they will check whatever they think needs it rather than just looking at one specific area. Kind of like checking the whole forest rather than just a tree. I had never had a full physical, so I figured it was about time.

I went to Phoenix for my initial appointment at the beginning of February. My overseeing physician decided that I needed a colonoscopy AND an endoscopy (making sure I didn't have any upper GI issues because of a history of GERD). During the exam, he heard my heart click/murmur. I've had it for a long time (probably my whole life), but he is only the second doctor that has heard it. Because of the running, and Ryan Shay's recent death at the Olympic Trials, he felt like it was a good idea to check out the click. I wasn't really happy about it. You know how it is, if I ignore it, it will go away. But this time, he wasn't going to let me ignore it. So, I came back to El Paso and waited a month for my appointment to have ALL issues check out at once. I was dreading it, frankly.

But, when all was said and done, I had a clean bill of health. With all the new technology, the cardiologist/EP was able to determine that I Did Not have mirtral valve prolapse (which is what I had assumed for the past 7 years). Yeah!!!! In addition, my colon and upper GI are totally fine. So, as much of a hassle as it was, I am so relieved that I bit the bullet and just got it all over with.

Since I was okay, I decided to go ahead and run the El Paso Marathon. I had initially planned to pace a friend who wanted to qualify for Boston, but when I thought I might be out of commission, I found her someone else. So, I just signed up the day before and decided to use it for my tempo run and long run combined. I know, this is not the smartest idea, but I was all messed up from being out of town.

The course starts with one mile flat and then 3 miles of significant climb, so it worked out well to just start nice and easy. I like to run my marathons between 3:35 and 3:40 because this allows me some slow, easy warm-up miles, some tempo in the middle, and some steady running at the end. I wasn't wearing a Garmin (I know, I know), so I just went off my breathing. At mile 4, the course has a great downhill which I used to get my legs turning over. I spent the next 9 miles just focusing on my stride, breathing, and effort level. At the halfway point, I caught my friends (Erica needed a 3:40 to qualify), so I figured I was on pace. I ran with Luis for about 5 miles and then he wanted to pull back because his ankle was hurting. I decided it was time to relax a little and bring the tempo down so I wouldn't be too beat up. I have another high mileage week this week, so I couldn't afford any time off for recovery. I turned my iPod on and ran the last 8 miles at a steady, relaxed pace. I finished in 3:38 (with both half marathon splits at 1:49) and felt good about the effort.

This week is a build week, so I am just putting in the miles and trying to pay attention to what I am doing! It really is hard for me. I just HATE wearing a watch, HATE scheduling the type of workout ahead of time, HATE running on a time frame. But, with Ruth Anderson coming up, I really am trying. I think that race is going to take a lot of mental concentration because it is short(er) and looped. I'm just praying it is just not going to feel like one long marathon (that would be torture :)

I'm off to read Blogs! Happy running!


Bev said...

Glad to hear all is well. You sure kept us all in suspense. I think it is so amazing that you can just use a marathon as a tempo and long run for the week. You're incredible! Have a good week.

olga said...

Well, oh mighty healthy one, good news! Now you can focus on running! Aghm, what was your focus before? :) Glad you're ok and ran such an awesome marathon. Welcome back!

Bob Gentile said...

Well first of all, so glad everything CHECKED out Good...Next year I am going to do a complete physical, maybe--haha

and WOW, u are a speedy peep...3:38 is so awesome, Congrats!! Going to be fun watching you blow past me at KM a few times cause this boy here is going to USE all of the 30 friggin hours--LOL

Have a great training WEEK..and yes 90 days (sigh)))) time to focus in now huh :-) ...I love what Olga said on my blog...too funny!

Rooster said...

I agree with Bev, I want to run a marathon and call it tempo. Great work and good news on your health. Keep up the relaxed yet focused approach, it's nice.