Tuesday, November 22, 2011

You can never predict what an ultra will do to you

I didn't exactly know what to expect when recovering from this ultra marathon, but, not surprisingly, the recovery has been different than I could have even attempted to predict.

At some point yesterday morning, I realized that I was sitting down and standing up using only my legs, with no assistance from my arms. That meant that in the 36 hours or so since I'd finished the race, I'd gone from having to literally lift my legs out of the bed, to having to use my arms to grab something to pull myself up from a seated position, to my legs feeling totally fine. Going up stairs I could still feel it a bit, and I haven't tried going down since yesterday morning, so that remains to be seen. A one floor apartment is good for that.

So, my muscle soreness is nearly non-existent. But, I'm not problem free. I haven't mentioned it on the blog much, but I do have asthma. I almost never use my inhaler, and I can go months without needing it, but occasionally it hits me, and when it does, it hits hard, so I always carry it with me.

I had to use it a few times during the race (again, even when running, I really hardly ever use it) and, after the race was over, I felt like I was using it nonstop. When Eric and I went for a 2 mile stroll Sunday night, I felt like I couldn't catch my breath, and my chest was so tight, but I'd used the inhaler right before we had left.

Monday morning, walking from my car to the school building, and then down the hall to my classroom, while carrying my laptop and all my other miscellaneous crap had me so winded I honestly thought I'd have to stop and take a break.

Luckily, it was parent conference day, so there were no kids, and I'd already held most of mine before or after school the previous week. After my one and only for the day, I went to the school nurse, who listened to me breathe with the stethoscope, and recommended I call my doctor and tell them I needed an appointment that day. I called the doctor and the nurse I spoke with told me I needed to go to Patient First, an urgent care facility. Her exact words were "Not in an hour, NOW". Exactly what a hypochondriac like me needs to hear.

I was pretty sure it was just my asthma acting up, occasionally, the inhaler isn't enough and I need some more intense medication. I went to Patient First, told them about my symptoms and my race, and asked the doctor if this was a typical reaction. He responded "uhhh....I've never really treated any patients who have run 55 mile races before...."

After a chest xray, EKG, and horrifying blood test (horrifying because, as I had already mentioned, I am terrified of needles, and getting blood drawn is way more traumatic than a flu shot), the doctor told me it was, after all, my asthma. I got a nebulizer treatment (basically a crackpipe that's full of something helpful, but still makes you dizzy and lightheaded and your heart starts pounding) and now I'm on steroids. 

Soon, I will look like this.

That was all pretty exciting, and now I am feeling much better, except for these occasional random coughing fits where I can't catch my breath. Good times. Thanks, Stone Mill.

One thing that has followed a normal pattern - I was massively burned out on training directly before the race, hated running, couldn't wait to take a break....and now that the race is over, I can't wait to start running again. I'm guessing it's not wise to start just yet, considering my legs are still a bit tight and I almost needed an oxygen tank to make it into work. I'll just fantasize about it for now.

Fantasize, and google races. Kara and I may have been chatting about some upcoming 100 milers. Not in the immediate future or anything, but it's on the horizon.

I do have broomball tonight, so I will be running on the ice for between 9 and 18 minutes. I have been told to bring my roid rage, and I plan to.


  1. That roid picture just made my day complete.

    I love that we have a future together.

  2. I wish you'd taken a picture of the crack pipe. Glad you're on the mend!

  3. Wow. 100 miles. After that you'll need a lung transplant...and new legs. Wait, that's like running for an entire 24 hours straight. Why do you hate sleep?!

  4. I will be happy to be a cheerleader/support crew/pacer for any future ultras you all do. It's one and done for me! You ultra runners are tough!

  5. Oh God that picture is awesome. Sounds like you're healing up awesome from your ultra - woop!

  6. Did they put you on Prednisone? Those are the 'roids they put me on a few weeks ago for my asthma and they definitely help, so hopefully you'll be on the mend soon!

  7. You all are crazy. I can't believe you're seriously talking about 100. I just joke about it.

  8. That picture is insane, I hope that is fake somehow.

    Sorry you are having asthma troubles, hope that gets better for you soon.

  9. asthma sucks, i've had it since i was 3. i used a nebulizer every day when i was little (and I was often on steroids, for some reason i made it to 5'5"). thankfully, due to much better drugs, i'm under control and never use my inhaler much either. acclimating to the heat and cold takes me longer and when i get sick, ugh! it takes me forever to get over it. i hope you feel better soon!

  10. I also have asthma but it's only exercise induced. Which can make running suck because I go from being a normal person to not being able to breathe. I think your next ultra should be the Keys 100 (there's a 50 mile option) in May. I run it on a relay team and it's awesome. All paved surfaces, no twisting your ankles, and since you are starting at the 100 or 50 mile marker and running to the 0 mile marker on the highway no one can sneak extra miles in on you :)

  11. Really? 3 days later and you're ready for 100? You are INSANE. In a completely rockstar, awesome, I'm in admiration kind of way. But still totally insane.

    Glad you went to the doctor and things are under control!

  12. Glad you are ok! 100 miles?! Omg, that's crazy but completely amazing!

  13. Asthma is stupid whore. I'm in about the same place with my asthma as you had been with yours and I feel like I'm always waiting for it to get bad again. And you are crazy, but I fully expected you two to decide that 100 miles sounds awesome. You are already more than halfway there!

  14. Great to hear the soreness is passing. Bummer that the lungs are not as cooperative.

    Someday a 100 miler for sure! Planning is half the fun.

    That pic is so gross.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  15. I'm impressed you can push yourself like you do with asthma like that! Hope the nebulizer has you feeling better soon. I expect you to be at least half as jacked as the guy in that picture next Friday.


Thanks for commenting! Comments make me probably more happy than they should.