It's been about 4 months since the Boston Marathon came and went... a lot has changed and nothing has changed at the same time. On a personal note, both the Principal and Assistant Principal resigned from their positions at my school which has given me a significant amount of anxiety leading into the next school year... From meeting both of their replacements, it seems like everything will be okay, but it still will be a huge change for me. My legs began impacting my performance at work and having two administrators who understood my level of commitment to my health and the complexity of the diagnosis and treatment gave me comfort and now I'm a little stressed about how that will be in the next year.... not to mention the fact that my daughters will also be attending the school for the first time and praying their behavior doesn't give a bad first impression or reflect poorly on me as an educator... they haven't been in a structured "school-like" environment since Daycare closed in March of 2020... who knows what they will be like! Sigghhh... time will tell... but my life has shifted a lot from prioritizing my legs to accepting the progress I've made so far for at least a little while until I have the flexibility and financial stability to go back out to Wyoming for another treatment. In the mean time, here's a short update on how things have gone broken down by month.
April: Boston Marathon on- 26.2 miles-Like everyone else, after the Boston marathon was complete, I took some much needed down time. I mean, I was on my feet in a race for 5.5 hours for the first time... EVER... and had this race hanging over my head since 2019 (or 2013... whatever...)... I needed a physical AND Mental break.... Plus my husband had a Marathon on May 1st so we shifted to focusing on that.
May- 13.6 recorded miles
May was weird.
After processing the Boston Marathon and the training that led up to it, I determined that the best way for me to proceed with this botox process was to work on speed and generating power with my "new" muscle patterns. SO instead of focusing on daily runs and increasing mileage I put my focus on increasing intensity and keeping mileage low. I knew that my weight gain would add extra strain and be problematic for compensating muscles taking on an increased load so I purchased the Lever Running System to allow myself to have a bodyweight suspension system similar to the Alter-G and we also got a treadmill on Craigslist for a great price to allow me to have access to this technology whenever I wanted. HOWEVER... I toyed around with speed and strides on the treadmill before the Lever was delivered and "Womp Womp" pulled my calf (none of those miles logged).
I essentially traded one problem for another. Instead of PAES symptoms causing me to halt running, it was normal "overtraining" symptoms that caused it. On paper I'm not even close to overtraining... but if you think of it in terms of weight lifting and strength to weight ratio, I essentially increased my weight (due to weight gain) while simultaneously decreasing my strength (muscle paralysis from Xeomin), and that's just not something you should ever do with progressive overload... so... My lack of patience waiting for the Lever confirmed for me that I do, in fact, NEED the lever to take off some load and gradually add it back on. It took a few weeks for my calf to be ready for any running, but once I got started with the Lever at the end of May, man... WHAT A JOY!!! I was able to log 13.6 miles across three different runs just before June
June 85 Miles:
June was the best stretch of running I've had and probably will have in a long time. Since I set the goal to get faster, I joined my friend Laurens 5k summer training group so that I could have a little guidance. It's easy for me to overthink or get in my head about everything so having someone else was helpful. It wasn't full 1:1 coaching where I felt like I needed to hash out details of my legs... I figure on the Lever, I could just do all the training and use my own knowledge to adjust if needed. I was consistently running 3 days a week, two workouts and a longer run (got up to 10 miles)... and the last week of June I ran a 5k "race" on the lever in 21:56!
My initial goal with this program was to break 25 minutes on the ground, but my goal shifted with that to maybe legitimately breaking 22. Usually with running when you race and you make a big measurable jump in fitness, you change training paces... but for me I decided instead of changing paces I'd just add more weight (aka: not offload as much) for my training. My shins were a little sore here and there so I suspected I'd need more botox by August, but hoped I'd get through this program and then take August off to go to Wyoming. June really had me excited for training. It was the only thing on my mind for the path ahead was to get fit again... be myself again... maybe even compete and set goals again. Ahhhh... What a FUCKING dream! I was so excited! .... until July....
July- 54.2 miles
Well, July started off with a really big shift in my priorities. Just as I was starting to make plans to put running goals back in focus, we had some personal events that made me realize that was going to need to be put on hold. Confusion doesn't even begin to encapsulate my emotions... Especially from where I sit now... but it was still a hopeful time, just had me looking elsewhere for once. It gave me time to reevaluate what I have been after. Primarily my goal was to get back to fitness in general however with having that Boston Qualifier and then running Boston I still harbored some delusions about the running I had in front of me. I had to put those delusions to rest again and I devised a plan that put Botox treatments on hold... even though at the time I really didn't want to do that at all... my reality did not agree with what I wanted, but sometimes that's life. I did keep things in perspective though, a year ago when my legs were in such pain I couldn't function... the improvements I've made thus far have definitely given me enough of my life back that I don't need to rush right into another treatment... but I really wanted to. It was a tough reality to process...
I ran quite a bit in early July knowing my legs were a ticking time bomb.... symptoms did start to show up and I was confused if it was from offloading less or if it was because the Botox was wearing off or what... Either way I was able to still proceed as long as I kept it really slow and offloaded as much weight as possible. I dropped out of the 5k training group and decided to just focus on easy runs for overall health. Additionally I had this numbness in my left arm for over a month so I couldn't lift and that was limiting my exercise even more.... and then, just at the end of July, I had another personal event occur which confused things even more, and as I sit here mid August I'm still working out my emotions around it all. In June I was sky high and to summarize July, it was free falling without a parachute......
August 1- August 15- 0 miles
Still free falling from July, August was off to a rough start.... Which is tough because both my daughters have birthdays in August... Raeas is August 1st and it was one of the worst days for me... ever.... so I felt bad. I tried my best to show up for her, which is all I can do. I think there are two types of free-falling you can experience... The free falling where you willingly jump; a leap of faith... and the free falling where someone pushes you off a cliff. I'm the second one. Somehow when I hit, once again, a NEW rock bottom (really hoping to stop finding new lows), I still have been bouncing back alright... much better than expected. I think its all sort of hinging on how the rest of the year goes, but for now I'm doing okay. This had nothing to do with running but yet, running being such a forefront of my life for so long everything in my life is somehow connected to it and vice-versa. It's crazy that even with as little running that I have done in the last 3 years, this is still true... but anyway....
This has been a lot harder stretch than I thought it would be. Not at all the summer we wanted... and even though in the beginning of July I expected things to be difficult for a while, it's actually been beyond what we originally expected. I left social media to guard myself a little because when I shared that my legs were still bothering me, I got some feedback that made me realize sometimes I just want to grieve alone. I didn't realize how deep the grief in front of me would get... and I'm grateful my intuition led me to get off the internet before the events of July occurred. I've always been an open book and oversharer... sharing usually feels good... But then I can't take back what I've put out there. Stepping away from social media has allowed me to process my feelings more slowly and "absorb the impact" before I write a narrative that may change in a week or two... and hopefully this time away from the daily sharing and "content creation" has detoxed me from this thought that I need to keep engaging and keep posting whatever the new trend is. Not to say I'm off public social media completely, but the time away has certainly given me time to see what things are worth sharing and what things I'd rather keep to myself or to a smaller audience. Honestly, I'm tired of my own sadness and my own story ... So... That's as much as I'll give here, but I will say things are looking more hopeful, at least for now, in the weirdest ways... I'm not all "everything happens for a reason" ... But I am finding some light in all the darkness.
August 15 and on
I want tomorrow to mark a new day for me... which is why I wanted to finally follow up on the blog today... I don't have a clue what is going on with my personal life for a long stretch of time... but I do know that I have to get back up and keep going. I've decided I need to run or walk every day or at least 5-6 days a week for 30 minutes or more indefinitely. I'm going to attempt to get back on the lever tomorrow and see how that goes, even if I have to walk... I just need to figure out a way to not fall back into a really depressed state. I can't afford that right now, so I'm trying to revive the weekly recap blog even if the recap never the running I envisioned I could get back to.
For my PAES people, this has nothing to do with the McGinley method "not working"... I absolutely have 100% faith that it is and will continue to work for me when I continue the treatment... I just have to put it on the back burner for now. So please don't read this as me giving up... it's much more complicated than that, as anyone with PAES knows- it's not a straight line and while we're out there battling doctors for a diagnosis and tests, and treatments... Life goes on... and so while I'd love to just get a new injection ASAP, there are limitations I'm up against, and life goes on....
So tomorrow is a new day... Where I just try to play the cards I've been dealt and see where the chips fall. I spent all the time since the Boston Marathon being pushed and pulled in a million different directions and trying to fight the current.... But I'm just going to accept where I am, and get up and rise for and go another round.
Welcome to my blog! I've been blogging for a long time on various platforms. My intention has never been to reach the masses, but rather to give myself a chance to reflect and journal. I feel it at least challenges me to be somewhat coherent, however you can expect ramblings and grammatical incorrectness here!
I've recently been diagnosed with CECS and fPAES and had it treated with BOTOX of all things... So I suspect to see more and more people looking for answers with that in the future and hope to continue blogging so there will be easy to access follow-ups as that was helpful for me.
NOTE: Apologies that some of the pictures incorrectly load sometimes. I try to keep up with the glitches, but can't always! Hope it doesn't impact the blog experience for all the PAES visitors.