Sunday, November 27, 2016

The in Between week 4

This has been the week that I didn't want.  In between Andrew having a cold, him sharing that cold with me, and Stella coming up lame, we have all been a sad sort.  The good news is that my birthday was Monday so let's start out on a good note shall we?

Monday:  Rest day.  My birthday!  One more year closer to 40!!!!!

We took Andrew to Umi Japanese Steakhouse as he has never experienced the fun of a hibachi grill.  The fire scared him pretty bad, but he loved the food, and ate like a little piglet!  He even drank the soup, something i never thought he would do!  After dinner, we had birthday cake.  I really need to reign in my eating, and I will, but after the holidays.  We only have holidays once a year, and I intend on having fun with them and eating what I want and NOT feeling guilty.  If it means gaining a few pounds, so be it.

Tuesday:  5-6 miles planned.  I had a rough night, with little sleep.  The cold i had been fighting hit me with a full vengeance.  I spent quite a bit of time on the couch with my diffuser on full blast right in my face full of breathe from Doterra.  We really need a recliner for sleeping in.  The drugs would work, but only for the set amount of time on the box, and I would wake up fully congested at the exact time they would be due to stop working.  Then of course, my mind would be thinking about a thousand things like stella's illness or all the work I needed to get done this week, and I wouldn't be able to go to back to sleep, even when the drugs would kick in.  I just couldn't see the point of getting up at 4 am and running when I had so little sleep and felt so bad.  I am in the the in between anyway, so getting better was my mindset, whereas I use to run no matter what.  See, I am maturing as a runner :)

Wednesday:  Cross training.  Still felt horrible, plus andrew was really struggling as well.  He was coughing pretty badly, but I was just dealing with severe congestion.  I was in bed by 8:30, and asleep by 9.  I felt bad for leaving the boys up, as that is when Tony works on his small business stuff, but I had a really bad headache that had the potential to go migraine.

Thursday:  Thanks to the holiday allowing me to be off, I was able to get plenty of sleep (even though I woke up once to get andrew more cough medicine) via sleeping in, and still get on the road for a run before we headed over to our friend's house to celebrate.  Running when I am congested is actually nice, because it loosens things and I become a human snot rocket.  As long as it doesn't get down into my chest, I can still run.

We watched the parade first on CBS and then on NBC.  We got to see Thomas TWICE!!!!  He was the second balloon in the parade, which was nice.  Little red was super into the parade this year, which makes me SO happy!

We headed over to Melly's house post Thomas appearance to eat, drink and be merry!  We had fried turkey and all the fixings, plus PIE!  I may never eat again!

On a side note, this was really the first day I really felt like a normal human being.  I hoping this trend continues.

On another side note, Stella is lame on a back leg again.  I am getting really, really worried that we are headed towards another relapse.  Please keep stella in your prayers.  She has had some pain meds and really, it doesn't seem to be helping.

Friday:  Cross training.  Got outside on my beloved bike.  Thank you day off!  I didn't get much sleep the night before, and was up at 7 am on the dot, so was pretty tired all day.  After some work at the lab, one place shopped for black friday deal (yes one deal, and they didn't have it), and some wendy's, I headed out of 12 miles of biking to clear my head.  I still am trying to figure out how to dress for biking when it is colder, and I think i got it done today.  I looked pretty stupid, but I don't care.  I wore a long sleeve shirt, my running jacket, gloves, and my biking shorts over long pants.  I was nice and toasty, even with the wind trying to hold me back, and managed to get 13 miles in.

We decided to jump on the Elf on the Shelf bandwagon.  His name is peanut (maybe because a jug of peanut oil is sitting next to him?), and he showed up last night during the night.  I almost totally forgot we were suppose to put him out the night before, so he would be found the day after thanksgiving.  Andrew seems to be digging him so far, but I did catch him sitting as close as he could to him and just staring at him.  Not sure at this point, if he was in awe or creeped out.

Saturday:  Switched my long run day and my shorter long run day.  My hubby wanted to go work out in the am, so we switched work out times and I got to go later in the day.  We ate left overs for lunch, and even though I thought i had left a big enough window of time for digestion, apparently I was wrong.  Sigh.  I wanted to do 5 miles, and got in 4 painful walk/run miles, with not one, but two side stitches.  They weren't even in my side, they were both under my rib cage and super painful!!!  I tried every trick in the book to make them go away to no avail.

This is Deuce's "COME ON LADY" face!  He was pretty tired of me walking by the end of the 4 miles.  A little stella update here.  I wrote a pretty long blog the other night about where we are at, but if you haven't read it, she is back to being lame on 2 legs now, a front and a back.  I slowly have watched her over the course of this week get worse and worse.  Saturday was the worst, as she could barely move, and the codeine was doing NOTHING but making her a loopy mess.  Finally, I had to break out the gabapentin, and pray it wouldn't interact badly with any drugs she is on.  I know it has worked in the past with controlling her pain, so I had to give it a go.  We left for a little while to go to Manhattan to the Festival of Lights, and I just prayed that when we got home, she would be better and she was.  She was still holding the back leg up, but was alert and bright and active (which can be good and bad).  

cake pop and hot chocolate on a saturday night
Sunday:  8-10 planned.  Ended up doing 9.7 miles again.  Just didn't feel like completing that final .29.  We had wind at 10 mph from the west and south that just kicked my butt.  I overdressed since I thought the wind would cool things down and it didn't, so I sweated like crazy.  

I did have fuel this time and did have to make a pitstop from not eating really well the night before but oh well, we got it done.  A bad run is still a good run (unless it is like yesterday and then that was just down right painful!).  I am actually sore from yesterday's run where those two muscles spasmed.  

Not the week I wanted, but the week I got, and I am happy I got some running in AND that this stupid cold is wrapping up.  Have a great next week!  I am hoping to back to some sort of schedule next week.  Andrew's wrestling practices start for real and he is getting his hair cut, so look forward to lots of pictures of the two legged red!  Also keep those prayers rolling in for stella ella!  

Thursday, November 24, 2016

A quick update on Stella: Lameness has re appeared. My thoughts.

I had to get a few thing down on paper for Stella's next vet visit so here goes.  This is random and all over the place, but I have to get my thoughts out on paper before they drive me nuts, plus i can print this off and take it to my vet.

Just a brief reminder for me and you, Stella came up lame sunday night on a front leg.  This is similar to how the flare up started last time.  It started with a fever, lameness on a front leg and then shifting lameness to the back leg.  It ended up with continuous fever and lameness on three legs.  At first, KSU vet med said "athletic injury" but when it ended up being three legs involved, the diagnosis was changed to flare up and she was put back on 20 mg of pred a day.  Currently we are in a 10 mg every other day program.  The lameness started post a run sunday (11/20), got a better after getting 10 mg of steroids that night, came back a little bit less when she didn't get her steroid as part of her taper. Had a day where she was completely fine.  Then it presented as rear leg lameness tonight, after being perfectly fine this morning (11/24) AND after not receiving her 10 mg of steriod the night before, per her taper.

 So we have a couple of scenarios going on here as I see it: 

1.  The steriods are covering up pain due to damage in her joints (do steriods cover up pain?  if not this theory is not valid), so when they get to a low enough dose in her system, the pain of the damage/inflammation starts back.  The pain is always there and will always be there unless we can cover it with some dose of steroid.  Maybe 5 mg a day or 2.5 mg a day instead of the every other day?  

2.  Once she gets to a low enough dose, the disease starts attacking her joints again and is active.  We will never be able to go below 10 mg pred and the combo of pred and cyclosporine is not doing the intended job.  Maybe discontinue the cyclosporine???  Maybe try a lower dose of steroid every day for some time?

3. She has erosive IMPA and damage is done which is kind of like #1 so maybe this isn't a number 3. Would we have a completely different treatment plan including joint supplements and NSAIDS?  If it isn't the disease flaring up, then can we discontinue the pred altogether?

Is there anyway to see joint damage in a dog other than an MRI?  If it is indeed joint damage versus active disease, would we take a different route of treatment?  Do we need to take a synovial biopsy to see changes there?  An article I read said that x-rays are sometimes hard to see joint damage, so that a synovial biopsy is better way to see joint changes.  From what I can tell, synovial biopsies are more about biopysing the lining of the joint and not the fluid itself.  She has had multiple joint taps to diagnose and then to determine if she was in remission for step down of pred.

She is lame on her back left leg again and I am pretty sure this is the same leg she was lame on before (i double checked her records and yes that is the same leg).    This time however, she is not lethargic and is not presently running a fever like the last time when she flared.  The last time she flared, she had been on the 10 mg every other day for not even a week, maybe a few days before she spiked a fever.  Thus far this time, she has been fever free and she had gone almost 2 weeks before this started.  At the previous flare up, she had been already running  mileage with long runs of 6 or 7 miles when we tapered her down to 10 mg.  She had had quite a long slow taper from walking to walk running to just running before any lameness or flare up.  My brain is trying to get around why the flare up or pain seems to always happen when we get down to the 10 mg every other day dosage, especially when she was running quite a bit previously when we stepped down to 10 mg every other day.  

So many questions.  So many thoughts.  SO much research to do.  My vet at KSU has recommended she stay at the 10 mg every other day dosage till I see him december 16th.  She is back on a no exercise protocol and is suppose to take codeine for the pain.  She had codeine now about 4  hours ago, and she is still limping pretty badly on that rear leg.  She did get steriods tonight, so I am hoping that she follows the pattern and is fine tomorrow morning.  That is still very puzzling and very indicative to me that she needs to be on every day steroids of some level of steriods still for any of the scenarios that I have mentioned.  This is going to be a very long wait till we see KSU again but I am glad that the vet is at least responding via email.  

Thursday, November 17, 2016

The in between week 3

Another week of the in between!

Pretty sure I should get these for all the runners in my life for christmas presents.  What do you think:)

Monday:  Rest day.  Little man and i are trying to come down with something, so I am taking vitamin C like it is going out of style.  I don't have time to be sick.  We both feel feverish, but our temps are oddly enough normal.  He has a ton of congestion, and I do as well, but mine is draining down my throat pretty regularly while his is coming out of his nose.  Taking it easy, early bedtimes, and lots of hydration.  We shall beat this!  Also diffusing breathe in our diffuser.  I really do think it makes a huge difference when we are home and near it.

Tuesday:  Coach gave us a range.  We could do 5-6 miles.  We chose 5 miles, so we could sleep a little later.  It was cold when we got up so took a lot of convincing to get my butt out of the door.  I can handle cold so much better in the afternoons for some odd reason.  I also took stella ella for another 30 minute walk and she is still pulling like no one's business.  She even started tugging on the leash wanting to go faster.  Wrestling practice again.  One more session before we have to make a decision on whether or not to continue.

Wednesday:  Cross training.  Well, since the DST kicked in, I haven't been able to bike after work.  One of Andrew's little friends invited him to go to dinner and then play afterwards, so instead of cross training i.e. getting my bike on the trainer, I opted to go with and have fun. Bad michelle.  Some day I will get back to cross training like I should.

Thursday:  Again we had a range of 5-6 miles.  We chose 5 miles on the basis that we had a strong 16 mph south wind hitting us and basically making us feel like we were standing still.  I also was paying for the dollar margarita night, so had to stop and make a pit stop in a field.  Live and learn:)  Took stella out for another 30 minute walk post run.  Getting so hard to keep her walking, this little lady wants to RUN!

Last night of free wrestling clinic.  Time to make some decisions.  I am leaning towards having him on the team, letting him practice once a week and then letting him do the home match, only if he wants to at that time.  We are going to go ahead and pay the fees and see how it goes.  Luckily we just have to pay a deposit on his singlet and he gets his very own wrestling shirt for his other fees.  I guess I am officially a wrestling mom!

Friday: Cross training.  You know the drill.  Motivation, where are you????  A side note.  Naughty stella is in full effect right now but sometimes I think she talks deuce into doing bad things too so she isn't always to blame.  Hence this:

Let me explain what you are witnessing.  Andrew is in a huge coloring phase right now.  Most nights are spent coloring multiple pictures, so I had broken out my old stash of crayons that I had boxed up years ago when I quit coloring.  He was really, really digging this box of 64 crayons, that is until some dog, probably deuce, decided it would be fun to eat them.  The only reason I finger Deuce is that he has always had a thing for crayons and would gladly eat any left behind and out.  He ate EVERY.SINGLE.CRAYON.  and then I am guessing proceeded to puke them up in the upstairs bathroom.  Let's just say that was the most colorful vomit I have ever seen.  The tile is stained, but I think it is kind of funny.  He has also had some very colorful poop lately as well.  I am pretty sure he acted alone, as no one else has rainbow poop in the dog family.  Naughty aussies need to run MORE!

Saturday:  A chilly almost 10 miles.  I sure do love running in winter/fall!

I kind of sort of forgot my fuel.  Coach had given us a range again 8-10 miles.  I had decided I would go by feel, and do what felt good.  I had to make a pit stop at the air port thanks to a new beer I had to try friday night.  
I am a sucker for Tall Grass beers

Glad we have an available porta potta since we are running in daylight now to stay warm.  I actually broke out the buff and the fleece lined tights for this run!  BRRR!  Feels like 20, YES please!  I got about an hour in and my body reminded me that I 1)didn't really fuel properly the night before for a 10 mile run, and 2) needed a little something something right about now.  I contemplated calling the hubs for an emergency fuel drop off, but then just decided to push through.  Ended up with 9.7 something total.  

Stole this from another ultra runner's page.  As he said, make it 9 pm and you got it right!

Funny story, my hubby had made brownies the night before.  Most nights I am in bed by 8:30 or 9 and asleep shortly there after.  I remember andrew coming in and announcing that daddy made brownies but I was snoozing and didn't care.  Fast forward to my run, all I could think about was one of those brownies and some coffee post run.  I literally thought of that damn brownie for almost 2 hours.  When I got home, I noticed stella was in the backyard by herself.  Hmmmm.  I open the door and there are three brownies sitting out on the ledge that is between our stove and our back doors.  Before I can blink, stella races forward, leaps onto the trunk, and gobbles those brownies down.  Double hmmmm.   I go upstairs and find the boys coloring, and i get the story that the pan of brownies (not completely full) was out while they were eating their mid morning brownie snack (because everyone does that right?) and stella snuck into the kitchen and proceeded to knock the pan off and indulge.  The brownies that were left on the ledge were the ones they salvaged and I unfortunately missed out because stella ate those too.  Luckily for us, stella has a garbage gut and other than some extra poo, she has been fine.  I forgot how naughty stella is when she feels well.  Sigh.  

Sunday: 35 minutes of either walk/run or just walk. I decided to use this time to get stella back into the groove.  We did a quarter of a mile walking and a quarter of a mile running for the entire 35 minutes.  We got around 2.4 miles in even with the wind blowing HARD.  She seems okay, lots of trotting when I am walking and lots of sprinting when she is off leash.  Will see how this week goes and keep that routine in place.  

22 miles this week.  Will be at this for probably a few weeks.  Going to try and be good and get back to strength training and PT exercises next week.  Please hold me accountable!  Have a great week!!!

Sunday, November 13, 2016

The In between Week 2

Not sure if I should count last week as part of the in between, but I guess it is.  This is the start of my easy running.  I wasn't really sore or too tired post my 50 K but now that I am back at it, OUCH.  I am going to be very, very careful since I have quite an ambitious spring coming up.  If you didn't read my other post, basically I am doing a road marathon as a warm up for my next 50 K, plus a few halfs thrown in for good measure.  Let's talk about this week, shall we?

Monday:  Rest day/Wrestling practice.  Still debating about going back to a MWF running schedule with either sat or sun as my long run day.  For now keeping the same and staying at running in the am.  Usually by now I switch my runs to PM runs but with little man starting sports, our nights are taken up with practices and hurried dinners (and way too much Mcdonalds, need to change that).  We started our journey into the world of wrestling.  We are doing a free clinic with the local wrestling club to see if he would like to try wrestling.  Even though he took a blow to the nose this week, it seems like he LOVES it.  Thank god my BRF and her hubby are part of the club.  I am not sure anyone else would have the patience needed to teach kids andrew's age how to wrestle.

Tuesday:  3 miles.  We did 3 miles with the safety run at our local running store Manhattan Running Company.  I seriously don't know what people do without a local running store.  We ran a little route and had give aways and glow sticks and fun.  Then we came home to a big fat mess in election night.  I didn't get much sleep and was pretty useless wednesday.

This is all I am going to say about the election.  My candidate did not win, and I am moving on.   I have been very proud of myself, because I have kept my opinions off of social media, which is SUPER hard for me when I am so passionate about something.  For those that can debate (on either side) and keep emotions out of it, I salute you.  I can't.  Moving on.

Wednesday:  Cross training.  Thank you time change.  Guess my bike needs to go on the trainer.  Sigh.  Not ready for the boredom that is bike trainer rides and treadmill runs.

Thursday:  4 miles.  Back to our am runs.  Deuce man came with.  Even melly was impressed with his new found running skills.  Wrestling in the PM.  Learning so much about the world of wrestling.  Andrew wrestled with a kid his age, but stronger. He got popped in the nose pretty good on accident, luckily at the end of the clinic.  He chose to sit out while they free wrestled, but joined back in for freeze tag at the end.  

Friday:  Cross training.  Opted for an early dinner and an early bedtime.  Although popped over to Melly's house to watch her paint so the boys could play.

Found a sand shrew in her house and caught it for her :)  Stella and I did take a nice long 30 minute walk, in which she pulled the entire time.  Watch out world, Stella ella is making a come back!

Saturday:  6 miles.  A longish run to see where my legs are at this point.  Was sore a little, but nothing too bad.  Deuce did wonderful and at one point I had freezing fog on my eye lashes but couldn't get a good picture of it.  Also did another 30 minute walk with Stella Ella.  Again pulling like a sled dog the entire time which is an amazing thing!  One thing I have noticed that kind of concerns me.  No migrating birds yet on the river.  Usually we are seeing geese or something come through, but I haven't seen but maybe one V of canadian geese.  This to me is kind of unsettling.  

Sunday:  3 miles.  Had thought about doing 5, but coach kind of convinced me otherwise.  The name of the game is a slow recovery, so I can go into my next cycle 100%.  We did 3 miles with walk breaks every mile for a tenth of a mile.  Deuce and I really enjoyed the beautiful fall weather FINALLY!

A whopping 16 miles this week.  I will take what I can get.  Body is still pretty tired and slow, and a little sore so will be taking it easy again next week.  Kind of nice to just enjoy my runs.  Have a great week!

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Stella Ella recheck November edition

This will be quick but wanted to update how our visit to KSU went today.  We finally are seeing ONLY one attending, and ONLY go in if he is on rotations in Internal Medicine that day.

She is such an old pro at this now.  She hasn't been stuck or drained lately, so she is back to loving going and meeting all the people who love her and only her (well in her little red headed mind).  

We seem to be getting in and out pretty quickly now.  I still take the whole day and try to get as much errands as I possibly can done.  We have decided to wait a little longer before we start testing again, and that is fine by me.  Just the medications are costing me around 200 bucks a month, so less vet bill is greatly appreciated. 

The plan goes like this:

Reduce pred to 10 mg every other day.  I asked about 5 mg a day and then 5 mg every other day, but he wanted to try 10 mg every other day first.  I am a little nervous, as this is how she relapsed last time but this time we are on the cyclosporine, and we weren't on that extra drug last time.  

We can slowly return to exercise.  I will probably follow the same plan of walking and increasing by 5 minute intervals till she can comfortably walk 30 minutes at a time, and then start back to lower mileage running. 

Check in with the attending via email in two weeks.  Recheck in a little over a month.  At that time we will probably do some blood work and test her urine for protein.

Pray for no relapse this time and pray that we can get her fully off of the pred.  I don't mind paying big bucks for a drug that works and does less damage to her body, so if we have to stay on the cyclosporine for a time, that is fine by me.  

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Let's Have a Beer

Yeah, I know, most of these confessional thingies go out the last day of the month or the first of the month but mine is a little delayed for a few reasons.  Grab your favorite pumpkin beer, and let's have some runfessions.

As I sip on my Harvest Shandy brewed by Leinekugels, I am rethinking my spring goals.  I am really sold on the 50K distance and wouldn't mind doing another one, IF I can find one in cooler weather.  I want it to be me against the course, not me against the course and the weather.  Less variables please:)  I still want to do the Andrew Jackson Marathon as well, but I am thoroughly sold on the 50K distance now and the experience. Spoiler alert (while waiting to post this post because of see paragraph 3, I posted about my goals for the spring:)

Might sneak in a little bit of Shiner Cheer here, even though it is still in the 80s outside!!!!  I am a lover of fall, and we just aren't having it this year.  We just trick or treated in 80 degree weather, and we still have MOSQUITOS!!!!  I am so tired of warm weather, but not ready for the frigid temps of winter either.  I was so sad that at the run last weekend, most of the trees had lost their leaves already.  I guess due to global warming that we are going to skip fall AGAIN this year and go straight to crazy winter.

Moving to a nice full bodied stout now.  I runfess that I am super stressed about my hubby starting his own business.  We are putting a ton of money out there, and I know he can do it, but failure is always a possibility, and recovering from failure is super scary.  I runfess that I hope I don't have to live in my old bedroom in Tennessee at my parent's house if this tanks, but we are jumping with both feet with this business, so here goes nothing (and keep my pillows fluffed for me mom just in case).  Just a shameless plug here though, my hubby specializes in Commercial and Industrial, but will also do residential if needed.  He already has one big industrial client but we will always be searching for more.  At this time,  I will continue working at my normal science job, but if he needs help, I guess I will be hanging up my scientific hat for a while to pitch in.  Kind of makes me excited that andrew will have a business to inherit, if he so wishes.

Let's just have one more of those stouts.  I runfess that I am a little worried about my kiddo.  The preschool that he goes to uses a color chart for behavior, and he is commonly on the bottom three colors.  I am also worried because the wonderful teacher that has been working with me and helping me make decisions on how to deal with said behaviors is leaving to be a stay at home mom.  I know there are lots of great teachers there, but I surely do love her, and while I wish her luck (and know exactly how she feels cause I was there too at one time and still am there occasionally), I am worried about andrew's final year there.  He still isn't really recognizing letters and numbers and while I am told this is nothing to worry about, hello, have you met me?  We have just started really understanding the concept of coloring and staying in the lines, so there is that.  Be patient, right? He has come around on all other things thus far, so I need to just wait, trust in the process, and be excited when it happens.

Okay now that I am probably drunk, unless I just took a real sip from each beer, I am going to stop!  It's been crazy lately and I am not running while I take a brief recovery from my 50K which makes me even more cray cray.  Happy election day and hope you don't have a hang over from reading my post!

Friday, November 4, 2016

Rethinking next year and recovery

I am sure others are like this so raise you hand if you do this and can relate.  After any big race I IMMEDIATELY search out other races of that distance to do ASAP.  I have seriously been looking at 50 Ks all week, planning and scheming.  I also have been searching for a new coach since my coach is going back to work full time and is not going to have time for coaching.  I am seriously in love with the 50 K distance.  I want to try again and try for a stronger finish.  I also would like to train over the winter versus the heat of summer (please KS winter, be kind).   Having said that, I was having trouble deciding which races to do and which not to do.  I tend to over extend myself and without a coach to help me make a rational decision, I can get myself into trouble.  Lucky for me, my old coach agreed to look at my race schedule that I wanted to do, and help me make some hard decisions.  Originally it looked like this:

March 25th Wicked Half-Wamego (where I live now)
April 1st-road marathon Andrew Jackson Marathon in Jackson TN (my home town)
April 15th possible trail marathon-Manhattan KS
April 29th 50K trail in KS
May 13th Running with the Cows Half-Kansas City
May 20th Bill Snyder Half-Manhattan KS

I had to make some decisions to cut some things out, because I needed to commit to a coach (i have a couple i have been talking with) and a training plan.  After some talking and some soul searching I decided this might look a little bit better:

March 25th Wicked Half-Wamego (where I live now)
April 1st-road marathon Andrew Jackson Marathon in Jackson TN (my home town)
April 29th 50K trail in KS
May 20th Bill Snyder Half-Manhattan KS

I want to do all of them and it is really hard to cut the RWTC, as it is one of my most favorite races but I have to be reasonable about what my injury prone body can tolerate.  Here goes nothing!
Looks like I will at least get a month or more of just easy fun running before the next set of craziness begins!