Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Four weeks post-surgery and a win!

Wings out. My debut race as a Oiselle runner and I won!
I am really happy to finally be able to report that I am cured. After months and months of seemingly endless posts about my struggle with out-of-control uterine fibroids and my anemic state, I am sure you are happy to get this news. No more posts about bleeding and lady parts.

Well, maybe one last bit. I was cured with a procedure called hysteroscopic resectioning. In this procedure, you are put completely out while a skilled surgeon sticks a device fitted with a camera and laser up your va-jay-jay and whittles away at the fibroid growing inside the uterus. The laser cauterizes as it goes so there's no risk of excessive bleeding. My fibroid was occupying the whole space, so there was a lot of work to do. In fact, they were only able to remove 80% of my fibroid baby before I became borderline hyponatremic. That's the risk of the procedure. The fluids they pump inside the uterus to keep things flushed out start to get absorbed by the body and at some point the electrolyte balance in the blood is compromised to a dangerous level. I knew ahead of time it was unlikely that they would be able to get it all in this first try, but was assured what they did get would still solve my problem.

I doubted this but have to say I now believe. I am 4 weeks post surgery and training like a mad woman again. It took a couple of weeks to stop bleeding completely, so my blood levels are still recovering, but, lifestyle wise, I am blissfully normal again. One odd thing that occurred within a day of the surgery was a return of massive energy and cognitive clarity. I have found nothing on the interwebs that can explain this. I was still taking the same (damn) hormones (massive dose of progestin) at that point so this had to be from the lack of fibroid. The only thing I can surmise is that the little bastard was stealing my energy. It makes sense physiologically that growing one huge ass muscle (fibroids are all muscle) inside the body over a very short time period would require a lot of nutrients and energy. So, my body must have been directing a lot my energy to it. Think about it. I was basically growing a bicep inside my uterus.

The surgery was a breeze. I was recovered in two days. I ran 13 miles three days after surgery and have not looked back. My training has gone really well too, though I am trying to be very cautious about not overdoing it. It is really easy with this much energy to want to ramp up fast and push myself too hard. 


My race shoes had Schwings! Thanks to Christina for the photo from mile 10.

I ran a race on Sunday. Well, I won a race on Sunday! It was thrilling to feel strong again. This race was the Buffalo Stampede 10 miler and it was my first race running for Oiselle. I have run this race numerous times and actually won it once before in 2010, just before my PR marathon in Chicago. My workouts leading up to the race were mixed. I caught a cold the weekend before (lack of sleep does it to me every time!) but still had a great long run workout of 17 with 2 x 2 miles at lactate threshold (T) pace, then 5 miles easy and another 2 x 1 mile at T pace. My last T mile was 5:50 and I knew I was on a roll. 

Midweek was another story. The cold was fully embedded in my sinuses and I couldn't breathe. I did a track workout of 5 x 1200m and had to cut the third one to 800m because of the breathing issues. I was barely holding the pace I had run for my 15th mile on Saturday! Did I panic? Nope. I wish I could recall who wrote this: "you can't fake a good workout". You can have bad workouts, but there is no questioning your fitness if you have a good one. So, I clung to my Saturday workout for confidence in my fitness and let the track workout go.


On Sunday, I was excited to see one of my Impala teammates at the starting line. She and I have always been really well matched in fitness and have battled at the line on numerous occasions. I love racing with her because I know we will push each other. What I wanted from this race was a hard effort and a strong finish. I have never finished strong in this race. I always die the last 3 miles. We ran together for the first 8.5-9 miles, in and out of a pack of boys and it was great. Our first mile was my slowest, and we negative split the race. At mile 9 or so, I saw The Genius with our hounds on the side of the road. This gave me a huge boost, especially as I heard my girl Bella start hound barking at me as I passed by. She was telling me to go. So I did. I had a lot of kick left and used it to get myself to that finish line as fast as possible. Megan is a fierce competitor so once I kicked, I knew I couldn't let up. I felt so strong rounding the corner and pushing myself through to the finish. My last mile was my fastest by about 15 seconds per mile.
Me and the Genius. And our shy dogs. Thanks for the picture, Maria!

I ran 1:02:23. This is not close to my PR, but I wasn't racing for time. I ran my goal marathon pace, and it felt good to feel so confident at that pace for 10 miles three months out from my goal race. 

My legs have felt amazingly strong lately in workouts and in this race. While I was dealing with my fibroid issues, I hunkered down and concentrated on my strength training. That has paid off. I have mentioned before that I go to (and am a run coach for) a Hot Pilates Studio in town called P2O and the strength work has made all the difference. I take 4-6 classes a week there, which is a lot more strength work than I've ever done. I love the hot pilates class, and that's what I do more than anything else. I am also a fan of the kettlebell classes for heavier lifting and TRX. I don't let these workouts interfere with my running workouts and use the "keep your hard days hard and your easy days easy" philosophy. I was very proud of the group of runners from the Studio at the race for pushing themselves and accomplishing their goals too!

I wore the Hoka Cliftons in my race on Sunday and I really liked them. I debated about this and did my track workout on Wednesday in my Lunaracers as a comparison. However, I didn't notice that it was a very tired pair. I grabbed the wrong ones from the shoe box and they were dead! Big mistake! I ended up dealing with a calf/tibialis/achilles problem the rest of the week and was nervous about that impacting my race. With some good self-PT and focused rolling, I didn't feel it at all in the race. It actually feels much better after having raced. That's a good sign! The Hokas definitely take some getting used to. My only concern with the Hokas is that I won't be able to go back to the lightweight, less cushioned shoes after wearing them exclusively. As long as Hoka sticks around, I guess that's not a problem.

The outlook for CIM is good this year! I am looking forward to the next 3 months of hard training and a few long races to test my fitness along the way. After having to pull out of my last three planned marathons, I am very excited for this one! 

I am mostly excited to be living a normal life again. In looking back on what I endured and how much it affected my life, I am not sure how I got through it in one piece. It was a wild ride but I am happy it is behind me. Thanks for your support along the way!              

Did I mention I won a pile of poop?
First place wins a pile of buffalo poo!

   

5 comments:

  1. Very happy for you Jaymee. That's a great 'comeback' race result and the fact that you felt so strong, are healthy and training well points to a successful marathon.
    Interesting about the Hokas. I alternate between Hoka bondis and 'normal' shoes. I like the Hokas for pavement running and find I can land with more force which sort of balances out the heavier weight of the Hokas.

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  2. Jaymee - Congratulations on your comeback race and excellent result! Stay healthy and well.

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  4. YESSS! I too have switched to Hokas. I laughed when they first came out thinking they were like bricks. I like the Bondis and Stinsons for training and LOVE my Cliftons for longer races. I'm so happy Hoka finally came out with a light racer but with all that support! My feet and legs and ACHILLES are much happier too. I had no pain the next day after the marathon and 3 weeks later at Chicago Lakefront 50k. The Clifton is definitely going to be my 100k shoe too.

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