My life with Compartment Syndrome 2x!

I woke up the morning of March 12, 2016 very anxious and excited to run my favorite race of year. Every year I train and excite myself up for The Gate River Run. This race is a 15k and is known for the gruesome “Green Monster” bridge at the end of the race.  I traveled to Jacksonville with two of my best friends on race morning and we talk about our strategy. We talked about how since we were all pretty much training at the same pace that we would stick together. and help each other stay at our pace. Then we would all cross the finish line and celebrate with beer and Bloody Marys! Good plan, right?

As it got closer to race time we started to warm up as we usually do before any race.  We all took off for our warm up run I felt some tightness in my legs almost immediately. My legs have been feeling extra tight lately and for some reason I thought maybe everything would be okay for the race. I tried to ignore it and just continued to keep hope that with proper warming up it would go away for at least just for the race.  Boy was I wrong!

When the gun went off we all took off together just as planned. Of course we were running way faster than our “plan” but that usually happens during such large races because the crowd is trying to disperse. We all crossed mile 1 together and gave each other a smile because we were all still together. Then as we got close to mile 2, I felt it. Ohhhh, I felt it! I knew exactly what was happening. My legs were getting tight and I started losing feeling in my toes. I thought to myself, “shit, please not now.”  I tried to play the “mind over matter” game and tell myself I could do this and to stop thinking about it. However, there are just some things you can’t play that game with and this was one of them. There really isn’t any way to talk yourself through running when you can’t feel your legs.  I started to slow down and my friend noticed that I was pulling back so she started slowing down with me.  I knew I wasn’t just tired and I wasn’t going to eventually pick back up the pace so I told her to keep going. I could tell she didn’t want to leave me, but I eventually convinced her to keep going and that I would be okay.

Mile 3 I stopped. Completely hit the brakes and stopped.  I tried to rub my legs to get the feeling to come back, but I felt like my legs were rubber. I sat for about 5-6 minutes and then decided I needed to do something. I mean, I couldn’t really sit on the sidewalk all day!  I didn’t know if I should just start walking back and not finish the race, or if I should still continue to race. Well, being the stubborn runner that I am…. I kept going. At one point, I lost ALL feeling in my legs and had to stop and take my shoes off again.  I hung out on the sidewalk again and talked to some of the spectators, then I would jump back in the race. This turned into a pattern that I did for the rest of the race. It was kind of nice just enjoying the cheering and the funny posters on the sidelines. I had no pressure, I knew PR’ing wasn’t a chance so I took in the scenery, the fun, and the sun! Oh, and the awesome food and drinks the awesome spectators offered us. I’m pretty sure there were Jell-O shots along the way! 😉

This 15K really felt like a full marathon. I thought I was never going to make it to the finish line, but I did. It was when I crossed the finish line and stopped moving when I really felt the pain. Throughout the race it was mainly the numbness and tightness, and now it was pain. Excruciating pain. My legs instantly cramped up and I couldn’t stand or put any pressure on my legs at all. I knew what was wrong. This wasn’t my first rodeo and I didn’t even need a doctor to tell me that I had Compartment Syndrome again. The feeling and level of pain felt is so hard to explain to someone. However, I had Compartment Syndrome 15 years ago and this was a pain you just don’t forget. I knew what was happening.

A few days after the race I called the same Orthopedic Surgeon who completed my Fasciotomy years ago. I was able to get an appointment quickly and he also agreed that it sounded just like Compartment Syndrome again. The problem was, nobody really knew what to do since this was my second time being diagnosed. I already had the surgery and they just weren’t sure what to do with me or how to treat me.  The best suggestion he could offer me was to go to the Mayo Clinic and talk to their group of surgeons.

I wasted no time in making my appointment for the Mayo Clinic. I have been going back and forth to the Mayo Clinic for a few months and I have been doing a bunch of tests. I did x-rays, nerve testing, and MRI’s. I have been waiting anxiously for my MRI results to see if it was in fact Compartment Syndrome. I wasn’t really scared of having Compartment Syndrome,  I mean I knew that’s what it was anyways! However, I am  scared that they won’t be able to treat it since this is the second time I have had it.

Well, I finally received the call and they were able to confirm the Compartment Syndrome in both legs from the MRI’s. However, they are unsure how to treat it. Ugh, just what I was scared of! Apparently, the issue is that my fascia tissue is still open from the surgery 15 years ago so it makes things really complicated. When the Dr. told me that he didn’t know how to treat it, I lost it. I was so scared of this. I am not ready to give up running. My legs are now tight every single day whether I am running or not. I have to find somebody who can help me.

The surgeon explained all the complications to me and said that he had another doctor that he wanted me to see in Gainesville. He said this doctor is very knowledgeable in Compartment Syndrome and he specializes in running and will be able to offer me some options. I did my research, and I do think this doctor is going to be able to help me. I have an appointment next month so I am trying to be patient and remind myself that I don’t want to rush into any decision anyway and maybe more time is for the better. So this is where I stand right now. I am still waiting…. and waiting. However, I won’t give up until I find somebody who can offer me some type of treatment. I am a runner and I will lace my shoes back up one day soon! In the meantime, I will lift weights and continue to Crossfit!

The Gate River Run 15K

I finally had the opportunity to participate in my favorite race, The Gate River Run. Luckily, I had the vacation time to use and was able to take a day off work to head up to Jacksonville and run with some of my favorite people.  For those of you who aren’t familiar with The Gate River Run, it’s famous for its huge bridge at the end of the race AKA  “The Green Monster.”

As we were walking up to find the rest of the group we had the chance to catch the sunrise right above the dreaded / beloved Green Monster.  For something so scary, it sure is beautiful!!

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When we arrived to the race we were greeted by a big group of awesome people from our local running group. I have trained with many of these people numerous times, but also had the chance to meet some runners that I have never met before. We all dropped our bags off at the camper, geared up for the race, and headed to the starting line.

While lining up at the starting line I heard the race director announce that Jen Rhines was at this race. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Jen Rhines, she is an American Olympic long-distance runner.She was one of my high school idols and I had a poster of her on my wall. I was so excited hearing that she was running this race and hoped maybe, jusssstttt maybe, I would run into her and grab a picture. Unfortunately, that never happened 😦

I had one of my best friends and running / Crossfit buddies at the start with me. Here is Amy and I getting ready to run!

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The gun went off at 8:30 on the dot and we took off. Let me tell you, running through approximately 20K runners is no joke! I almost tripped about 20 times and got hit with some fierce elbows. However, Amy and I stuck together side by side and made our way up as far as we could. Our first few miles were kind of fast, but we really had no choice because we had to make our way out of the crowd so we weren’t blocked in the entire time.

Around mile 4 the sun started beaming down! Holy crap, it was hot! I ended up losing one of my water bottles on my water belt during the first mile, but luckily I had one filled with Isagenix Replenish because that was a lifesaver. Then around mile 5, my entire left leg went numb. This is something that happens occasionally and it is a side effect of having a fasciatomy  ( the surgery I had when I had compartment syndrome). I have experienced this before, but never this bad. I was trying to shake out my toes to help with the blood flow and shake out my leg. I am sure people were wondering what the hell I was doing and they probably thought I had to pee or something.  The numbness went away completely around mile 7. This gave me one mile to get my legs geared up for the Green Monster.

Amy and I pepped talked ourselves and encouraged each other up that bridge! Leave it to my to get my left foot ( the same leg that went numb  ) stuck in a grate on top of bridge. I twisted my ankle, but luckily it wasn’t too bad.

Amy and I finished the race strong with a time of 20:11. Not my best 15K time, but I am still pleased considering how horrible my legs felt and how hot it was! I am so thankful that I had Amy on my side throughout the entire race because she encourages me and pushes me when I am starting to feel weak.

After the race, we partied! There was an awesome tailgate set up with Bloody Mary’s, mimosas, food, music, and great people.

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I ran with these two girls in High School. They are both such awesome girls and athletes!

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We beat the Green Monster!!

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Some of my Crossfit Family<3

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I am so happy I finished in the top 10%! This is pretty much my only goal for this race 🙂

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Until next year…

I’m officially a marathon runner

I did it. I really did it! I had no doubt that I would attempt a marathon, but I really was unsure if I would be able to finish one. I am so proud to say that on December 28th I finished the Jacksonville Bank Marathon!!

I didn’t sleep a wink the night before. I went to bed early with all intentions of having a good night sleep. Well, 2am rolled around and I was still just tossing and turning. I was up at 3am looking for something in the medicine cabinet to help with my nausea. My nerves were getting the best of me. I kept telling myself to relax and that I had nothing to prove. I was running this race for myself and it was okay if I couldn’t finish. Then I would laugh because we all know I am my own biggest competitor and I knew how bad I wanted to do this. Well, 330am came around and I just decided sleep wasn’t going to happen so I got up to hydrate and stretch.

I arrived at the race about two hours early, which is normal for me. I like to have time to get my registration packet, warm up, stretch, and take it all in. My mom, husband, and two kids came with me. It was so nice having them there early with me because I was FREAKING out.

When it came time for the race I was more than ready. My nerves settled down and I was eager to get started. I lined up with the thousands of other runners and my adrenaline was pumping. As the National Anthem started I started to tear up and could feel my body cover in goosebumps. The feeling was surreal.

As the gun went off, I took off with a cheesy smile on my face. This was it, I was going! I found the 4 hour pace group and stuck with them for the first 14 miles. I really thought I was going to be able to stay with them, but between the heat and my legs cramping I had to slow down.

Mile 16 hit me like a bag of bricks. I didn’t just hit the dreaded wall, I smacked right into that freaking thing. My legs wouldn’t move. I was talking to myself at this point telling my legs to ” goooo.” I ended up stopping at mile 19 to shake out my legs. The heat was horrible and I realized there was no way I was going to finish under 4:15 hours, but I was going to finish!

I had no shame stopping at the aid stations for Gu’s and gatorade. I was running with a camel back on so I had water throughout the entire race. The gatorade tasted like gold every time I got a cup from the stations.

I remember turning the corner and seeing Mile 24….TWO MORE TO GO! My whole body was cramped up, my calves were on fire, I was chaffing so bad I was bleeding, I had sweat in my contacts so my eyes were burning, my feet were numb, and I wanted to puke. However, I only had two more miles to go! There was no way I was stopping now.

The last mile was killer. All I could think about was crossing the finish line and collapsing. Again, I was yelling at myself to just move! I came around the last stretch and saw my daughter waiting for me. The smile on her face made all of my pain go away and gave me a sudden burst of energy to kick it in. She jumped on the track with me and ran with my for a little while, and then I finished. I crossed the finish line with a sense of pride I never imagined. A couple of my friends who came up to watch were all waiting at the end. One of my best friends, Amy was right at the finish line and literally caught me in her arms when I collapsed. I cried, sweated, and probably snotted all over her. That’s what friendship is all about!

My exact words when I finished were, ” that was worse than childbirth and I will never do that again.”

The next morning I woke up and I hurt so bad but I couldn’t stop smiling. I then started looking up other marathons that I can start training for. I’m proud to say my next marathon is March 29th….so much for never running another one, huh? 😉

To everyone who came out to support me, THANK YOU! Your continuous support means so much to me and I couldn’t have done it without you all.

Amy, Trish, and Sharon, thank you so much for my beautiful bracelet. That is something that I will always cherish!

Now let the marathon training continue because I’m not done yet!

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I’m officially a marathon runner

I did it. I really did it! I had no doubt that I would attempt a marathon, but I really was unsure if I would be able to finish one. I am so proud to say that on December 28th i finisher the Jacksonville Bank Marathon!!

I didn’t sleep a wink the night before. I went to bed early with all intentions of having a good night sleep. Well, 2am rolled around and I was still just tossing and turning. I was up at 3am looking for something in the medicine cabinet to help with my nausea. My nerves were getting the best of me. I kept telling myself to relax and that I had nothing to prove. I was running this race for myself and it was okay if I couldn’t finish. Then I would laugh because we all know I am my own biggest competitor and I knew how bad I wanted to do this. Well, 330am came around and I just decided sleep wasn’t going to happen so I got up to hydrate and stretch.

I arrived at the race about two hours early, which is normal for me. I like to have time to get my registration packet, warm up, stretch, and take it all in. My mom, husband, and two kids came with me. It was so nice having them there early with me because I was FREAKING out.

When it came time for the race I was more than ready. My nerves settled down and I was eager to get started. I lined up with the thousands of other runners and my adrenaline was pumping. As the National Anthem started I started to tear up and could feel my body cover in goosebumps. The feeling was surreal.

As the gun went off, I took off with a cheesy smile on my face. This was it, I was going! I found the 4 hour pace group and stuck with them for the first 14 miles. I really thought I was going to be able to stay with them, but between the heat and my legs cramping I had to slow down.

Mile 16 hit me like a bag of bricks. I didn’t just hit the dreaded wall, I smacked right into that freaking thing. My legs wouldn’t move. I was talking to myself at this point telling my legs to ” goooo.” I ended up stopping at mile 19 to shake out my legs. The heat was horrible and I realized there was no way I was going to finish under 4:15 hours, but I was going to finish!

I had no shame stopping at the aid stations for Gu’s and gatorade. I was running with a camel back on so I had water throughout the entire race. The gatorade tasted like gold every time I got a cup from the stations.

I remember turning the corner and seeing Mile 24….TWO MORE TO GO! My whole body was cramped up, my calves were on fire, I was chaffing so bad I was bleeding, I had sweat in my contacts so my eyes were burning, my feet were numb, and I wanted to puke. However, I only had two more miles to go! There was no way I was stopping now.

The last mile was killer. All I could think about was crossing the finish line and collapsing. Again, I was yelling at myself to just move! I came around the last stretch and saw my daughter waiting for me. The smile on her face made all of my pain go away and gave me a sudden burst of energy to kick it in. She jumped on the track with me and ran with my for a little while, and then I finished. I crossed the finish line with a sense of pride I never imagined. A couple of my friends who came up to watch were all waiting at the end. One of my best friends, Amy was right at the finish line and literally caught me in her arms when I collapsed. I cried, sweated, and probably snotted all over her. That’s what friendship is all about!

My exact words when I finished were, ” that was worse than childbirth and I will never do that again.”

The next morning I woke up and I hurt so bad but I couldn’t stop smiling. I then started looking up other marathons that I can start training for. I’m proud to say my next marathon is March 29th….so much for never running another one, huh? 😉

To everyone who came out to support me, THANK YOU! Your continuous support means so much to me and I couldn’t have done it without you all.

Amy, Trish, and Sharon, thank you so much for my beautiful bracelet. That is something that I will always cherish!

Now let the marathon training continue because I’m not done yet!

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The return of Star

Happy December!!

I love this month, I love the holiday season, and I  love our Elf on the Shelf, Star! I really think I do it more for my entertainment because I think this creepy little Elf is so funny. When Madyson first spotted Star she sat there with her mouth opened for about a minute before she started jumping up and down in excitement. She loves it! It really is such a fun way to get in the Christmas spirit. Also, I must admit she really does think he reports back to Santa every night so it also totally helps keeping her behavior on track too 😉

So last night I was trying to find out where to put Star so I referred to my handy dandy Pinterest page. I saw one with the Rice Krispy box and realized I have that cereal in our pantry. I laughed way too loud with this. My husband was in the other room and heard me laughing hysterically. I was so loud that he actually thought I was crying. I brought the box to him and I was still laughing so uncontrollably, I couldn’t even tell him what I was laughing at.  I  had to just show him the box so he could see for himself because I couldn’t talk. He shook his head and just smiled. Apparently, I found this way too funny! hahaha

Happy Elf on the Shelf season!! 

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Gobble Gobble

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving.  I owe a big thanks to my family for preparing dinner early enough so I was able to join them and eat before I had to head into work. I worked this Thanksgiving night…again 😦 I literally had to eat and run to make it to work on time. The food was delicious, I got to see family, and I got to see all the cousins play together. I guess I can’t ask for anymore than that, right??

I just wish I had more time to spend with my kids on the holidays. My heart actually hurts when I have to leave them. I got the short end of the stick this year and happen to work every single holiday. We make it work by either celebrating earlier, or later…but it sucks. I am starting to feel guilty because I feel like they don’t understand why I have to work. I am extremely thankful that my Mom had Thanksgiving at her house this year, so when I had to go into work my kids were fine and they had their cousins to play with. They probably didn’t even notice I was gone because they were having so much fun!  I just feel like I am missing out. My heart goes out to everyone else who has to work the holidays, or even night shift in general. It’s not easy!

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24 day Challenge is underway!!

I am typically a very skeptical person when it comes to “trendy” diets that seem to blow up my Facebook news feed. I usually roll my eyes and and keep scrolling. However, Advocare is one that always had me intrigued. A few months ago I started hearing a lot about it, so I did my research. I have read a ton of success stories, many of them coming from elite athletes…which intrigued me even more.

I saw one of my fellow runners post on Facebook that she was drinking Spark ( Advocare energy drink) so I asked her about it and told her I was interested. She had nothing but good things to say and told me that it was well worth the money. I met her the very next day to get my products!

I have been struggling over the past year with losing weight. I carry my last ten post from my pregnancy around my stomach and I feel like no matter what I do, it wont go away. I am uncomfortable at all times, and I feel like my running has even slowed down because of it. My marathon is a month away and I want nothing more than to be in tip top shape!

I am on currently on day 3 of my challenge.  I truly feel GOOD! I am still tired, but I have been working night shift all weekend so I think it’s inevitable. You’re not supposed to weigh yourself until day 10 of the challenge, but I cheated and weighed myself already. I was so happy to see that I am already down 3.2 lbs! I am happy I decided to hop on the scale because now I just have a whole new level of motivation. I actually see results ALREADY!

I will keep up with my Advocare 24 day challenge results here 🙂 Check back for updates and pictures!

Day 8:

So I am almost finished with the Cleanse Phase and I am down 4.1lbs so far.  I really really love the Spark drink. I am a coffee addict and I have switched out my morning coffee for a Spark and I feel better throughout the day. I feel like I can get through without my afternoon coffee because my energy is still there. When I bought the challenge it came with Fruit Punch and Orange flavored Spark.  I definitely like the Fruit Punch one way better! The orange flavor is a little too tart for me. I’m excited to try other flavors when I place my next order. I also REALLY like the meal replacement shakes. I am horrible when it comes to breakfast, so I use my meal replacement in the morning and it keeps me full until lunch. So far, I have only good things to say about my Advocate Challenge. I will be taking measurements and pictures on day 10 ( which is in 2 days so stay tuned 😉 )