Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Marathon and Health Update

I haven't been talking about it much but I had previously won an entry to the Marion Rotary Marathon for Shoes in Iowa in June from Too Tall Fritz. I was able to choose either the full marathon or half marathon. After leaving it to a facebook vote (for fun...that's fun right?), it was decided that I was going to do the full marathon because my friends love to torture me! You guys are so sweet.  I also knew that Amanda (Too Tall Fritz) would be doing the full and my friend Julie was also deciding to run it and do the full. So I would have company. Can't beat a free full marathon! (Or half really, anything free is nice!)

Come training season, I've been having a hard time. Not just training for the marathon, but training for my halves and just running in general. I never really recovered from getting burnt out from all the racing/races I did last year. By December 2014, I was just done.

I know with running, there are always ups and downs. I'm in a "down" slump right now but an "up" could be right around the corner. I have my friends, my run club, and my Thursday run group. I also have the upcoming nice weather, which I just love running in! So I was just trying to hang in there. Get through the running, enjoy the good run days when I have them, and be thankful I am able to be out there running!

Thinking about the full marathon in June was starting to really stress me out. I'm just really struggling to run. While running, sometimes I'm struggling just to breathe. I don't have allergies (that I know of). I did get checked by a doctor last year and my iron levels were fine (I struggled with anemia in recent past). So I'm not sure why I was having such a hard time. I'm still not sure. And it's just definitely frustrating at times. My long runs were hard. Friends made them easier to get through. I even got up to a 15 mile run recently. 

Then I got sick/a bad cold. The day of my 15 miler (maybe that's why I struggled that day?)  I really wanted to try to recover quickly so I decided to take a few days off. I was pretty sick and actually took a full week off of running and all working out. One week of no running won't hurt me and will be better in the long run when I'm recovered.

After a week, I ran a slow and easy 3 miler. It was a gorgeous day. I actually enjoyed the run. It wasn't easy but it was peaceful.

Then I got a pain in the butt. Literally. Ok, "near" the butt. I haven't talked about it much because the location is a bit strange and awkward. You just don't mention your butt. Unless you talk about it on your blog. Everything is fair game on your blog, right? The day after I noticed the pain, I felt a large lump. Lumps scare me. (Spoiler - I'm ok.) They aren't normal and generally shouldn't be where ever it is they are. After 2 days and the pain becoming more severe, I decided I should get checked out by a doctor. When I got checked out by the doctor, she said it was an abscess (infection) and scheduled me for a surgeon the next day.

I was relieved it wasn't anything serious. I was scared to be going to a surgeon. The lump already hurt. It hurt to sit down, it hurt to walk, and it hurt to turn over in bed. And it hurt bad. I was glad to be seeing a doctor and possibly just having it removed because I wanted the pain to end. But I knew that having it removed would also be painful. So I prepared myself to be in pain. That way I wouldn't be surprised.

Friday, I went to the doctor and they took me to the procedure room. The surgeon told me it would hurt. She said they would give me a numbing shot but she wasn't going to lie, the numbing shot would hurt like hell.  And hurt like hell it did. I feel like I've had a lot of painful health things this year. I'm super thankful none of them have been serious. But they have all been painful. And just when I think that this is the worst pain I've ever experienced in my life, something that feels a million times more painful comes along. The numbing shot process felt like years and it was excruciating. And all I could do was say "Ow! Ow! Owww!!!!" and bear it. When she finished, my legs were shaking and tears started rolling down my eyes. I didn't think I could take this anymore. And I'm not being dramatic. I'm being completely serious. This "pain in the butt" was becoming way too literal for me!  When she cut into the abscess, she realized it was much deeper and larger than she thought (by the way, I wasn't all the way numb yet so that hurt too). Then she had to give me another numbing shot deeper. I was dreading it. It hurt but since the original numbing was kicking in, it only maybe hurt half as much.

Then I was pretty numb. The surgeon was doing her thing. She was telling me that I was actually doing really well. I laughed with relief that I was not hurting much anymore and told her I was feeling a bit better now. She said if I could see what she was doing, I would "jump off the table". I told her ignorance is bliss.

Mind you... I have never had a baby or given birth. So don't tell me how painful that is. If I ever get a chance to experience it, I'll let you know what was more painful. Lol.

I also didn't mean to give you this full medical update. It just sort of spilled out. And if I can't trust my blog readers, who can I trust!?  :) You complete me! Ha!

So what does all this mean now that my abscess was removed? It means that I have an open wound that I need to heal. It means that until it heals, I really am not supposed to run. Due to the location, running could cause a lot of friction in that area and it could take longer to heal or get worse. So since my 15 miler on April 19th, I've run one 3 miler. I had to skip my half in the beginning of May too since I had just had the surgery.  Lately, I have just been walking. And sometimes walking hurts it due to the location. I don't want to push it and have it take longer to heal. So I've been laying pretty low.

What does this mean for my marathon in June? I don't know. Before this, I was considering switching it to the half anyway because I was struggling so much. But I decided to just keep trying to push through it for the time being "just in case". Now with being sick and then having this surgery thing, it's just becoming A LOT  of time off of running (and any high impact cardio). So I'm now seriously considering dropping to the half. I could probably do a walk/run interval and "just get through" the marathon, but do I want to? That's what I'm really trying to decide. I also entered the lottery for Chicago (which I wasn't originally planning on running) and got in. So I signed up for the Chicago Marathon (more on that another post). So I could scrap this one and run that one.

That's what I'm deciding. That's where I'm at in my running and health life right now. One day at a time, one run at a time (when I can run again). Again, I'm just super thankful to have my health and all my "issues" are not severe.

Happy running my friends! If you go for a run, run a mile for me, ok?


  1. Ouch! Your whole ordeal sounds very painful, but I'm glad that you go that abscess taken care of and are okay. I would not push anything right now and not worry about the half or the marathon, unless you are truly feeling up for either one. Just get healed up and then slowly get back into running when you feel better! :)

    1. Thanks Pete! Good points on just healing and dealing with it after that. :)

  2. I am so glad you're ok, girl! I've been thinking about you! I know it's frustrating to not know what the future holds, running-wise, but I hope you get the rest and relaxation you need!

    1. Thanks Meghan. People were getting worried about me because they knew I wasn't running but not really the reason why. Since it's really not too serious, I figured I'd put it out there. See you soon hopefully!

  3. Oh my gosh, Amanda! So scary hearing your story - but I am really glad that you got it taken care of. Now the worst part is done with so you can just focus on resting and healing. I agree with Pete - don't worry about the half or the marathon, unless you feel absolutely 100%. Your health is much more important and there will always be future races. I wish you the speediest of recoveries!

    Please keep us all posted on how you are progressing and how everything else is going. I'm glad you are blogging again!

    1. Thanks Emily! There is a 50% chance of this coming back. OMG, I so hope not. I would cry! lol

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  6. [Sorry for the duplicative comments, Amanda - my web browser was giving me some kind of weird redirect error message!]

  7. Glad your pain in the butt turned out OK! I have this ... knot ... in my scalp that's been there for years that I'm pretty sure is a sebaceous cyst. It should just be a matter of getting it removed but of course I keep putting it off. It's not getting any bigger, right????

    Anyway, last year when I felt burnt out on running, I just kind of kept going and signing up for races ... and ended up with runners knee and I haven't been running all that much for the past year. So, sometimes our bodies have a way of forcing us to stop doing things that our brains won't agree to stop doing.

    If you need a break from running ... TAKE ONE. I sold a lot of race bibs and/or skipped a few races last year.

  8. Thanks Maggie. I hear you on the races. Actually I was purposely not signing up for tons of races because I knew I needed a break. That's why I didn't do the shamrock shuffle, etc. But May and June are a bit heavier on the "racing". Otherwise it's pretty calm.

    As far as the bump you have, a friend of mine had the same thing. She waited several years but finally had it removed about a year before her wedding (since it was visible). But I'm sure it's totally fine.

  9. Oh man! A literal pain in the butt! I am hoping that the abscess stays away and you heal up nicely! I agree with many of the others, don't worry about the races and don't try to jump back in too quickly! Just give your body time to heal!