quick update

*sigh*

well, not much new to report as far as my running goes.  new orleans is coming up in a couple of weekends.  raquel and i are excited about going down there.  unfortunately, for me, my enthusiasm is lacking.  my heart has just been pissing me off lately!  so, after running tests and wearing monitors, here is what they have come up with:  2nd degree heart block, possible atrial fib / atrial flutter, and still having some SVT (super ventricular tachycardia).  basically, it’s all over the place, doing all kinds of different things.  at first they talked about putting in a pacemaker.  thankfully, though, we are gonna hold off on that for now.  i’m on some meds, which seem to be helping for now.  i will go back to the cath lab on the 7th for another EP study and possible ablation.  this will be my 3rd time on the table.  they haven’t ruled out a pacemaker in the future, but at least they are going to wait for now.  cause that’s what i was really worried about and really did not want.  right now, they docs have not told me that i can’t run.  they just told me to be smart about it.  however, this medicine that i’m on kinda zaps my energy, so i haven’t ran that much since all of this started happening.  as it stands, i’m still doing new orleans, but i’m just going into it knowing that i will have to walk and chances are i may not even be able to finish.  but at least i will get to be there for raquel.  hopefully in a few weeks, i will have all of this sorted out and will be able to get back to business.  in the mean time, i’m just hoping and praying that i can keep myself out of the OR and away from a pacemaker.

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coincidences, celebrations, and cardiologists

wow…has it really been almost a month since my last post?  i suck at this.  once again, i’ve got lots of stuff to tell ya about, but you’re just gonna get the highlights, because  a) too much time since my last post and b) my memory is horrible, so i’m gonna be doing good to even remember to tell you about what i’m gonna tell you about.   first thing first…run for the ranch.  this race was supposed to be a half that jena and i did together.  jena ended up having brain surgery 2 weeks before the race, so my training in the last 2 weeks was pretty much non-existent.  and i ate like crap.  i wasn’t expecting to have a great race.  and i was okay with that.  i just wanted a decent race, a good finish.  my mom and i drove up the night before so that i could get my race packet and so that i wouldn’t have to worry about driving so far on race day.  i got my race packet at this little running store, which was closing for the night a few minutes after i got there.  while i was standing in line, i glanced around the store.  i particularly remember seeing some brooks shoes, brooks clothes, and some gu.  about 30 minutes later, it hit me that i hadn’t brought any gu with me.  why in the world had i not thought of this when i was at the store??  i spent the next hour driving to different sporting goods stores in a mad search for this stuff…all with no luck.  i finally resolved myself that i would have to try again in the morning when more stores would hopefully be open.  the next morning, we go to the mall, find a gnc and i was able to get some gu…lots of it.  then we just had to kill time.  killing time in a mall, the weekend before christmas, on the day that you’re supposed to run 13.1 miles is not really a great idea.  lessons learned, right?  fast forward a few hours.  we are at the race, i’m dressed and ready at the starting line.  i look over and i see this familiar face.  now, i’m not usually one to go up to complete strangers and talk to them, but i was almost positive that i knew this girl.  i walk up to her, and ask if her name is jamie.  it took about 1.5 seconds before recognition kicked in.  i’m constantly amazed at how small our world is sometimes.  here i was, 4 hours away from home, and just happened to run into jamie!!!  it was awesome seeing her.  we talked for a few minutes.  she explained that she planned to take it easy because she was coming off an injury.  i told her i was gonna try to stay with her as long as i could.  i’m going to spare you all the gory details, but i’ll just tell you that it was ugly.  there were SEVERAL walk breaks, lots of slow jogging, and a pit stop for some body glide, which i had forgotten to put on my legs…OUCH!! the course was horrible, mostly concrete sidewalks, lots of weird, hard turns.  needless to say, i won’t be doing this race again.  but it was AWESOME seeing jamie and running with her.  she was amazing and wonderful.  she stayed with me the whole time, bless her heart, sacrificing a decent finish time so that she could pull me through.  jamie, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR BEING AWESOME!!!  YOU ROCK!!!!   even though my time was not even close to great (2:22), it was a very emotional finish.  jena had been texting me words of encouragement throughout the race and i called her as i was coming into the finish, so that we could cross the finish line together, because that was the original plan.  we were both bawling.  so….not a time to brag about, but another medal, another finish, and i got to run with an awesome person. 

now, new orleans is fast approaching.  it will be raquel’s first half, and i’m going to run it and finish it with her.  i’m so excited about it.   while i’m training for it, i’m trying to set some other goals, not race related.  so the other day, i decided that i wanted to be able to run an 8 minute mile.  my usual pace is 9:45 to 10:15, so i figured that this would give me something to work toward.  i went to the track with the original intent of doing some speedwork.  but then i thought, i have to know where i’m starting before i can know how far i have to go.  i decided that i was going to run hard on the straights and recover on the curves, and just see how long it took me to run a mile.  not gonna lie….i was pretty pumped when i ran the mile in 8:13.  maybe i need to readjust my goals a little bit.  🙂

so…i had my birthday a few days ago.  and what better way to spend your birthday than getting in an awesome run, right???  no??  well, i decided that i wanted to do 6 miles.  went to naylor road, which is a beast!!!  did 6 miles, with an average pace of 9:34.  this makes me REALLY happy.  happy 33rd to me!!! 

*sigh*….and the last bit of NOT GOOD news.   i got to visit with my cardiologist again…and several ER doctors.   jena had another brain surgery the day after my birthday.  i was in the waiting room, where i had been all freakin day, and i started having problems with my heart again.  now, i’ve had problems before and so i’m very familiar with what it used to do.  but this was different.  i went to the unit where i work, and had them just hook me up to some leads so i could see what it was doing.  a few minutes later and i was in the ER.  very, very long story short.  the surgery that i had in june apparently didn’t work.  and i knew that was a possibility.  but now, not only is my heart doing some of the old stuff it was doing, it’s doing some new, REALLY NOT COOL things as well.  right now, we are just gonna try medicine.  i’ve been on it for a couple of days, and it’s still not working.  so now, i’m dealing with my heart being crazy and the side effects of the medicine.  thankfully, my cardio doc knows that i’m a runner.  he just told me to stay really well hydrated, especially when i’m running, because this med lowers your blood pressure.  so now i just wait.  i wait for the meds to work, and i wait for my body to adjust to it.   and i keep my fingers crossed that i can avoid another surgery.  you can keep your fingers crossed too.

cliff notes

i’m a slacker.  and a procrastinator.  for some reason, blogging has seemed like such a chore lately.  and the longer i go without doing it, the more stuff i need to tell y’all about (cuz i know you are just on pins and needles wanting to know what i’m up to), so that i want to put it off even more.  it’s kinda like balancing my checkbook.  while i’ve been slacking with blogging, i have not been slacking with my running.  actually, i really have LOTS to write about right now, but since it’s been so freakin long, i can’t write about all of it.  it would take forever.  so…i’m just gonna hit the high points. 

* no matter how hard core a runner you are, having the right clothes and the right gear just makes you ‘feel’ like a runner.  while i KNOW that i’m a runner and have known it for a long time, i OFFICIALLY feel like a runner….  yes, my friends…T has a garmin!!!!  i can’t beging to tell you how stinkin excited i was to get it.  i have the forerunner 110, and i LOVE it!!!  it’s amazing how much easier it is to go for a run, when you can just look at your watch and know how far you’ve gone and what your pace is.  now i know, that most of my running friends that read this already have one, have had it for a long time, and it’s no big deal. but folks, for me…well, it’s just awesome.  i also have the heart rate monitor that goes with it, which i think is pretty cool.  i don’t use it for training, because frankly i’ve been too lazy to see what my range needs to be.  but given my heart condition, i just think it’s cool to be able to kinda see how hard my ole’ ticker is workin while i’m running.  maybe eventually i’ll take the time to figure out heart rate training.  but until then, i’m just gonna run. 

* not long after i got my garmin, i went for a run and the kids wanted to go again, which they do quite often now.  now i’m not gonna get all emotional and sentimental about this one.  i’m just gonna say that my oldest girl ran 3 miles with me.  and then she posted on her facebook: “i just ran 3 miles with my mommy!”  not gonna lie, running with her that night, her running 3 miles….ranks up there in the top 5 proudest moments in my life. 

* doulble digits baby!!!  i ran my first double digit since little rock.  it was awesome!  the run felt great, i felt great.  10 miles, 1:43, average pace 10:22 (love the garmin!!).  it was  sa-WEET!!!

* spa 10k.  it’s a bitch.  struggled with some of the freakin MONSTER HILLS… but all in all, i’m happy with my time.  6.21 miles, 1:00:33, average pace 9:46.  HELLZ YEAH i’m happy with 9:46!!!

* and perhaps the most exciting news….I’M GOING TO THE BIG EASY!!!  my bestie, raquel, has been trying to get started back with her running and she has been talking about wanting to do a half.  i have been wanting to do a full and so we were going to try to find a race where we could do both.  finally i told her that if she would commit to training for a half that i would run it with her.  she was worried about ‘holding me back’ or worried that i would be trying to get a fast time.  i told her that if she would do it, we would start together and finish together.  so…we are both officially registered for the rock n’ roll mardi gras half marathon in new orleans on february 13!!!!  soooooo freakin excited.  i can’t wait to experience this with her. 

so, i guess that’s the cliff notes version of the past few weeks for me.  maybe it won’t take so long for me to update next time!!

exciting, exciting stuff!!!

soooo much exciting stuff to tell ya about, i don’t even know where to start.  i guess i’ll just tell it like it all happened. 

tuesday morning, i got up early and went to the gym.  i had a meeting at work at 9, so i wanted to get some good miles in, and maybe some weights.  for some reason though, i just WAS NOT feeling it on the treadmill.  my legs were hurting, my mind was disjointed, could not get into my groove.  as i was running, i decided to cut the run short and do some strength / resistance training.  i hadn’t ventured off the treadmill yet, and have been thinking that i needed to add some weights.  so i cut it short at 1.5 and went to the machines.  i was slightly annoyed at myself for ONLY doing 1.5, but my shins were hurting pretty bad.  and i told myself that i could always run again in the afternoon.  so, i did lots of leg stuff on the machines, which felt awesome.  anyway, left the gym, headed to work for my meeting.  after it was over, me and raquel went and had lunch, then i asked if she wanted to go to this new running store.  the owner of the store had contacted me on facebook and told me that i should try some compression sleeves for my shin splints.  so i wanted to check those out, plus i’m always up for going to a running store.  so raquel and i go over there, and i swear, i’m like a kid in a candy store.  i LOVE running stores!!!  i told the girl what i was looking  for and she finds it, fits me for some sleeves.  they felt okay i guess, but i didn’t really know how they were supposed to feel.  the problem with running stuff is that it’s SO DANG EXPENSIVE!!!  the compression sleeves were almost 60.00!!!  so i pondered on that for a bit.  i knew that i was having major problems with my shins, but didn’t exactly know the cause of them.  i knew that it was possible that it was a shoe problem also, since  my shoes had about 340 miles.  so, i could buy the sleeves, not knowing if that would fix the problem, or i could just go ahead and buy new shoes, since i was gonna have to get them soon anyway.   i told them what i was currently wearing, and they said that my current shoes were wayyy too much support for what i needed.  they watched me walk, decided what i needed, and i tried on 4 different pair.  now the big difference in what i was running in and what i was trying on was the weight.  my current shoes were HEAVY and all of these were super light compared to them.  soooo…..i decided on the saucony progrid guide.  and i also sprung for some special running socks.  now, i’m the cheapest person in the world.  the thought of spending 10.00 on ONE pair of socks is outrageous to me.  but oh, let me just tell ya, when i put those socks on my feet, it was incredible.  and then those socks WITH my sweet new shoes….WOW!!  my feet were in heaven.  i never imagined that socks would actually  make a difference, but they do.  big time!  anyway, as i’m checking out, trying to contain my excitement over my new goodies, the girl mentions a group run that they have every tuesday night.  my ears perked up, and i wanted to hear more.  she said it was every tuesday night, meet at the store, and do 3-6 miles.  well, it just so happened that i didn’t have the kids this week, so i was free to come to the run.  however, i HAD to drive back home and vote, since i’m a procrastinator and didn’t early vote.  i was pumped.  drove back home, did my stuff, and then got ready to head back to little rock.  and then it started to rain.  i called the store and made sure they were gonna run regardless of the weather, because i did not want to drive the hour to little rock for nothing.  she told me that they were in fact running, even if it was raining, so i was excited.  i was realllly hoping that it would quit raining, because i DID NOT want to get my brand new shoes wet.  when i got to the store, it was raining pretty hard.  there were only 7 of us going on the run.  i was told that they normally have 20-30.  but as long as i had someone to run with and lead the way, i didn’t care how many people were there.  iwas concerned that they would all be way to fast for me, so we started talking paces.  i told them i would run near a 10 min pace and they said that i would be fine.  off we went.  i won’t bore you with the play by play of the run, but let me just tell ya, i freakin had a blast!!!  it was awesome.  it was cold and raining hard, and by the time we made it back to the store, i was wringing my clothes out, but it was soooo much fun.  i pretty much stayed with this one guy who was from the neighborhood we were running in and knew the route.  he also had a garmin, so we were able to keep a pretty steady pace.  he actually had to keep slowing me down, lol.  we did 4 miles, and averaged 10:30.  i had the best time.  the people were awesome.  the run was fun.  hell, i even actually kinda enjoyed the rain.  plus, running in the cold rain made me feel kinda like a badass.  i don’t know why. 

okay, now fast forward >>>>  wednesday jena and i were gonna try to run again.  she really wanted to get a run in, but knew that i would be doing more than her, and didn’t want to hold me back.  so i told her that jeff, my ex, could follow us.  she could get in with him if she got tired or her head started hurting.  i wanted to run on bristol, with is the road that i ran with my girls.  i loved running that road.  so we all get in jeff’s truck and head over to the start point.  i wanted to do 5.5.  we take off running, pretty slow.  i’m not sure of the pace.  jena had her garmin, but i wasn’t overly concerned about our pace.  i knew that if she got in the truck, i would speed up.  she ran about a mile and her head started hurting, so she got in with him and i was on my own.  i put my headphones in, turned the music up, and took off.  i ran a few more miles alone and she got back out and did a little more with me.  when she got back in again, i told her to tell jeff that i was wanting 5.5 and for them to let me know when i was done.  i knew that i was running faster than i typically do, and i was starting to get a little tired.  my shins were still bothering me a little and i was starting to get cold.  i knew i had to be getting close to being done, so i texted him and asked him how far.  5.76.  and i just stopped.  wth???  why in the world i didn’t keep going to hit 6, i’ll never know.  stupid.  anyway, i did 5.76 with an average pace of 9:50.  jena said that i did about 2 miles at 9:00.   SA-SWEET!!!  this made me very, very happy.  then it was time to ice the shins, which never makes me happy.  on thursday, i left to go to dallas, got back late friday night, and slept all day saturday before coming to work.  i’m a little bummed about such a small weekly total, but i know that resting my legs for a few days might do my shins some good.  but they’ve rested enough! i’m ready to get some miles this week….me and my new shoes!

my best run EV-AAA!!!

ok, so this week was not necessarily a stellar week for my running.  i had a couple of crappy runs, a couple of great runs, still having monster shin splints, and i finished the week with a total of 20 miles, which makes me happy.   i’m not gonna give the play by play on every run, because, well, since i’m a lazy blogger, it would take me forever to tell you about all 5 runs.  monday, tuesday, and wednesday, I did 4 miles each day.  one day was a very mediocre treadmill run, one was a horrible road run, and one was split up into an easy 2 and an awesome tempo 2.  friday’s run was HORRIBLE, AWFUL, PAINFUL, but it was 3 miles (with some walking).  however, thursday’s run, was amazing.  and that’s the one i’m gonna tell ya about. 

so by thursday, i had 12 miles down.  i knew that i wanted to get a total of 20 for the week.  i could either do 5 and 3, or rest on thursday and do 8 by myself on friday.  8 by myself was outta the question.  so the plan was to do 5.   wednesday night, i planned out my day.  now, you know what they say about plans and all that….  i should’ve known thursday would not go according to plan.  i woke up and my oldest girl wasn’t feeling good, and so i decided to let her stay home from school.  i had a bunch of stuff that needed to get done on thursday.  hallween costumes to buy, my son’s birthday party to get ready for (which is on halloween), groceries to get, etc.  and all of this had to get done on thursday.  all of that wasn’t a problem and i would still be able get a run in, but with my girl being home with me, i couldn’t do it.  this meant that i would have to do 8 on friday.  and i was BUMMED!!  my girl and i took off to do all of our running around and i fretted all day about my run.  by the time we got home, i was exhausted, depressed, and sleepy.  my ex-husband had to pick my other kids up from school, because i didn’t get home in time.  he could tell that something was wrong with me and i told him about my delimna with getting my miles.   and then he came up with a plan.  he would load the kids up with him, drive behind me and i would just run.  he would let me know when i had gone 5 miles.  i didn’t want to.  i was sleepy.  i was cranky.  but he talked me into it.  and then my girls decided that they wanted to run with me.  so it would work out perfect.  my girls have wanted to run with me before, but i’ve never been able to let them, because i knew they wouldn’t be able to keep up or they would get tired after a little bit.  so this excited me.  they could run with me and if they got tired, they could just get in the truck with their dad.   we all loaded up in his truck and drove to the road that i would be running.  one of their friends saw us and wanted to come along too.  me and the girls got out, i talked to them a little about stretching and running and pacing yourself, which completely went in one ear and out the other.  and then we started to run.  about 10 steps in, my clumsy 7 year old, jayce, tripped and fell.  i just knew that would be the end of running for her, but my little trooper got up, quickly assessed her skinned knees and elbow, and took off again.  okay, i thought, if she’s good, then we’ll go.  and we went.  we actually made it pretty far before they were tired and needed to get in the truck.  once they did, i put my headphones in and was ready to run on my own.  i had told them that if they wanted to get out and run some more that they could when they were ready.   a little later, i glanced behind me and noticed that the truck was stopped and jayce was getting out.  i turned around and looked in front of me and saw that we were coming up on a pretty big hill.  dang it.  i knew she wouldn’t be able to make it up the hill.  i told her to wait but she was determined to make it up the hill.  so me and my baby girl are running side by side, approaching this hill and i’m talking to her about it, telling her what to expect, that her legs will start burning, that it will be really hard for a little bit and then it will get better, that once we make it to the top we will keep running and not stop.  and then we start to climb.  “okay jayce, this is where it’s gonna start getting hard.”  i kept glancing at her, head down, biting her bottom lip, little arms pumping, breathing hard.  i asked her if she was okay, and folks, the most amazing thing happened.  it was one of those moments as a parent that makes you so proud you feel like you’re gonna burst.  almost under her breath, she said “jayce johnston does not quit”.  i swear i got teary eyed.  i was so very proud.  when i could tell that she was really hurting, i repeated it back to her and she smiled and ran harder.  we made it to the top of the hill, me and my baby girl.  at that moment i realized that my stubborn, hard headed, strong willed, determined little girl is alot like her momma.  the fact that she didn’t quit, that she wanted to make it to the top, was so awesome to me.  after we had ran just a little longer, and i could tell she was really tired, i told her to rest, to get back in the truck with dad.  she didn’t want to, said she didn’t want me to be alone.  i told her how awesome she had done, how proud i was of her, and that she needed to rest and get some water.  i told her that after she rested she could run some more.  and reluctantly, she stopped running and got in the truck with her dad.  a little later, my oldest daughter got out and ran with me.  we ran together for a while, just the two of us, not talking.  she was a little in front of me and i was watching her.  she’s not even a teenager yet and she’s almost as tall as me.  she still has some of the childish awkwardness and clumsiness that comes with being 11, but as i watched her run beside me, i could see the young woman she was becoming, and it was beautiful.  i wish that i could describe how i felt, how amazing it was, to be able to share my passion with my daughters, for them to WANT to share it with me, to watch them and see in them the struggle and the joy that is running.  it was indescribable.   i wish that i could remember every moment of this run, our first real run together.  they both did great.  i’m not sure of the mileage that they each ran, but it was alot for them.  i ran the large majority of the 5 miles alone, and at tempo.  when their dad honked at me, letting me know i could stop running, jayce got out again and walked with me.  she grabbed my hand and we walked while i cooled down.  this run, this night was one of those magical, wonderful parent things that i hope i’ll remember forever.  i still get teary when i think about all of the things that made me so proud of my girls that night.  my ex later told me that while i was out there by myself, the friend asked my daughter “how does your mom do that?” and jess said, “oh, she just does, she runs all the time, she’s just awesome like that.”  and those words, coming from my girl, mean more to me than they will ever know.  i really could go on and on about this run, get all sentimental, just trying to explain why it was so special, but i think you get the picture. 

this week’s stats:  monday – 4 (road), tuesday – 4 (treadmill), wednesday – 4 (road, 2 easy/2 tempo), thursday – 5(road), friday – 3(road).  total – 20.

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