Saturday, March 25, 2006

Dead Man Walking i don't believe i have EVER been in so much pain in my LIFE!! i hurt, i hurt, i hurt! 16 miles baby! a new personal first for me. it sure came with a price though.

We started at Gage Park Zoo (for those of you familiar with Topeka) and basically ran west on 10th street, which later turned into 'old Hwy 4o' and we ran out what seemed to be half way to Manhattan - okay, it just felt like that. but a number of miles west, along I-70, you'll notice an old abandoned horse farm, with a white, fence lined oval track on the south side of the highway... that's where we ran to and then turned around and ran back. The professor had food and fluids stashed about every 2 1/2 miles, but when we reached the second "stop" we discovered the refreshments were no where to be found...

i'll fast forward to about mile 10.. my running partner decided to start skipping the walk breaks every mile.... and i sure didn't want to run by myself so i kept right on plugging away. in reality it was only an extra mile in between walk breaks.

at mile 14... our last refreshment stop... that is what killed me. it was already hard enough to get going again after walking. but at mile 14 my body was telling me it was done. and i don't mean just tired. it took everything, i mean everything i had just to keep my legs turning the final two miles back. simply unbearable fatigue. but i made it.

a strange thing happened the end. i think my mind left me and i was delirious. do you remember how when you were kids and you stayed up all night. and about 3:00 in the morning, everything suddenly start sounding funny and you giggled at everything? well, that happened to me. i was in so much pain and exhaustion that all i could do was giggle. i could barely walk.

the backs of my legs - from hamstrings to ankles are sore and tight. i hae tried to stay up on my feet all afternoon cause if i sit, my legs start screaming at me when i try and get up. and let's not talk about going up and down the flight of stairs here.

but even in spite of all that - i actually feel pretty good here at 3:00 in the afternoon. i might not be able to get out of bed for church in the morning, but for now... it's barable! i just have to stay on my feet and keep my legs moving.

there won't be any updates next week as we will be in Disneyworld!!!!!! but i'll have plenty to post when we get back!

Monday, March 20, 2006

I ran 8 miles Saturday. I can't stress enough how tough it is to run on your own. The first two miles were great. i was actually on a 9 minute mile pace (which i learned was too fast). At my two mile walk, i was at the bottom of a hill - which is good - walking hills is easier than running them), but i wasn't at the top of the hill before my minute was up. so i decided to walk another minute to get to the top. i ran my third mile at a still fast pace (sub 10 min.) and i was beginning to feel tired already. Halfway into my third mile i had (mentally gave up) to take a 20 second walk break. But at the fourth mile stop i ate and drank. Miles 5 - 8 gradually felt better and better. I started off way too fast - even though it felt good at the time. But i made it, and that's what counts. i wanted to give up when i was tired and had no one to talk to, but i pressed on.

Yesterday Taylor and i hung out all day together having some 'man-time' while Tracy, her mom and sisters took Josie to KC to shop. They took Josie to the Build-A-Bear Worshop for her Birthday gift. She actually picked out a cat as you see in the picture. They had a great time and Taylor and i got to go to the movies, eat lunch out, and work on my truck motor together.

As for the fundraiser, keep getting pledges!! as i've said before, i have NO IDEA how it's going, and won't know til all the money comes in. I asked for it to be back by May 6, but we'll be in Nebraska so if any comes in that day i won't know til the marathon is over. Ihope to have a final count that following week. I'm going to mail out the envelopes and pledge forms (in case yours didn't print off right) this week.

One week from today we leave for Disneyworld!!!!! I have decided that i will leave my laptop at home. this was a tough decision since i like to update people daily when we are on a trip (medical trips). But i truly want to leave everything behind and have a week of pure unstructured, quality time with the family. which means i'll have TONS to report when we return home!! I'll post pictures on the VEPTR website (the hyperlink is to the right. i think it's called Josie's Pictoral Journey). i probably won't have them up for several days after our return though.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Make A Wish

The Make A Wish "wish grantors" came over last night to finalize some information and to give us the money for our trip. They brought tons of presents for the kids. Each child had their own 'package' of toys, then they had a LARGE (see photo) Sponge Bob backpack filled for more stuff for the 'family'; lots of odds and ends, things we can take on the plane, several disposable cameras, including a waterproof camera. It was like Christmas all over again for the children.

It sounds strange but one of the most emotional things for me is when we arrive in Orlando, near the baggage claim will be someone with a large sign that says something like "Make A Wish Welcomes Josie Martin". And for some reason visualizing that makes my eyes well up. i don't know why. you see that on the movies - a limo driver holding a sign with someone's last name... no big deal, but there is something emotional about doing it for Josie (or any special child). Hope i'm not a blubbering mess at that point!

Among ALL the things we "get" on this trip (which i'll elaborate on later) is a voucher for $50 towards film development. they really do think of EVERYTHING. this will be the first real vacation we have EVER taken. Once or twice we've went on a trip somewhere, like a relative's house and hung out with them or something and called that a vacation. We called our trips to Texas a vacation when we were able to go to the ocean for a few hours. But this will be our first family -do something totally fun everyday- vacation!

Pool Running

I went to the pool last night to get my workout in. I ran in a different part of the pool a few times and the floor was much rougher and so i kind of tore/cut up the bottom on my big toes. So they are sore today. i might have to wear bandaids when i run on them tomorrow morning. but it was still nice - very tiring, but nice. of course i had to take a 5 minute dip in the hot tub when i was finished. i don't know if that helps at all, but it sure feels good (relaxing).

Tomorrow, most of the class is running a relay called the Brew To Brew. it starts in KC and ends in Lawrence. i think it's 40+ miles. each member of the class runs an 8 mile leg of that 'race'. you can run more than one if you want. It ends up being an ALL DAY event. I was looking forward to it earlier in the year, and it was only about $14 to race and eat, but then i'd be tempted to buy a shirt or fleece jacket and i'd probably end up spending too much money before it was over. Plus there was plenty of work to do around the house, so i'll just run my 8 miles 'out and back' from our house. i miss running out in the country anyway. plus, it'll probably be raining (it's supposed to rain tonight trhough next Tuesday with snow coming in Monday) - and i enjoy running in the rain. but running in the rain when it's 80 degrees out is different than when it's say, 35-40 degrees.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

continuing to pace myself

Tuesday's class went well. very little pain in my legs/feet. some knee pain but just a little. We did a "YASSO" workout where we focus on maintaining pace. Our community has a walking trail (concrete) that has markers every quarter mile. The first time we did this earlier in the semester i ran with the 2:30 group (2 minutes 30 seconds every quarter mile mark) which equaled a 10 minute mile pace. Tuesday i ran with the 2:25 group for one leg and felt like it was a tad slow, so i moved up to the 2:15 group and ran the remaining 5 legs (one leg is actually two markers or half a mile). i was getting tired by the last two legs so i don't know if i was in the right spot or going a little too fast. we walked after each leg and i "recovered" fine. even though i was tired, i actually ran the last leg 20+ seconds overall faster than our pace time (the first quarter was approximately 2:10 and the second quarter was 2:00).

i hope that wasn't too confusing. Let's just say, it appears i am increasing my speed which is a good thing = a faster marathon time. if you convert that 400 split (quarter marks) time (2:15) into marathon time then i would be projected to run the marathon in 4 hours and 30 mintues - which is half an hour FASTER than my original goal was. but again, these are just estimates.

And i've got more great news! my professor has okayed me using a pool workout instead of the regular class schedule every Thursday. this will greatly aid in 'recovery' for my knee. this weekend i will run 8 miles on my own and then next Saturday is our SIXTEEN mile run! That will be a new personal "first" for me!!

Monday, March 13, 2006

School Daze

We just got back from Josie's IEP meeting at school. Tracy and i need to decide if we want to hold Josie back a year instead of sending her on to Kindergarten. this would mean a third year in pre-school instead of the normal two (Silver Lake starts pre-school at 3 1/2 YOA). As mature as she acts, she still has some "gaps" in her learning. It is likely attributed to all the time in the hospital and sedations, etc that has gotten her behind in some areas; basic things like learning her alphabet and numbers.

I don't think any parent WANTS to hear the words "held back" concerning their child, however, at this grade level it won't make a difference down the road, secondly, she is just now (march 22) turning 5 with only two months left of school so it won't be like she's "older" than the other kids, and thirdly, because of her physical size, she still appears younger than she is.

We haven't made a decision yet, but most likely, we will choose to hold her back. The last thing we want is to continue ahead and place her in a grade she will struggle greatly in. In Silver Lake they push education like no body's business - whish is one reason we moved out there with the added bonus of having an exceptional special needs program for Josie. Even in Second grade Taylor is learning things i'm sure i didn't learn til i was near junior high school.

So on one hand, it's disheartening, considering everything else Josie has to over come, but the teachers feel she will learn these things, it's just the medical issues that have slowed her learning down - temporarily. but now that we are at Kansas City, instead of Texas, she will miss much less school after each surgery which will help.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

All "Hail" the King

Thought i'd post some pics of the hail storm this morning while we were getting ready for church. We pulled Tracy's car into the basement and mine was originally outside with cushions and blankets over it, but at the last minute i decided to pull it onto the porch. Good thing when you see how big some of the hail was for a few minutes. That big porch of ours has been an emergency garage on a number of occasions!!

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Josie spreads out when she sleeps. This is her crashed out on our bed last night.

Man, what a day!! I can now say i've run to another city. It was certainly a journey. the first three miles and last three miles were the worst. When my legs started hurting in the first half mile, i thought the entire run was going to be miserable! we stopped every three miles for liquids and food. the second three miles were better. i didn't really have leg or foot pain - i was just dealing with the usual foot numbness which doesn't bother me. miles six through nine... my feet and legs were fine but my groin muscles began to fire up, and i was getting tired. the worst thing that could have happened was to stop at mile 9 for food and liquids. as soon as we stopped i knew i was in trouble. i had to pee for about the last 3 miles so the only positive was relieving myself. But the groin pain really set in at that stop.

when we started running again i was like a wind up toy. it seemed to take everything i had to get my legs moving again. they had stiffened up and felt like lead. i wanted to be done. oh, and a good portion of the run was on gravel road, like at least half of it, if you ask me. those last three miles felt like six. i wanted to quit, i wanted to quit, i wanted to quit. the pain in my groin(s) was intense. my whole body felt like lead. this was a very hilly course... lots of hill which adds to the difficulty. we started out near my old church and went west up through Sherwood Lake and then south on Urish Rd. (i think) until 75th, then back west, south and west again into Auburn.

When i got to the end, my friend Bob told me i was dehydrated cause i had white streaks dow the sides of my face... that's the salt in my sweat - which means i wasn't geting enough fluids along the way. i may potentially have to bring extra liquids on the marathon, cause i was drinking a full two cups every three miles, whish is as much or more than i'll be getting in the marathon. I ate about 500-600 calories on the run too. which i need everybit of since i'll burn more than 100 calories a mile.

There were cars there to take us back to the starting point in Topeka where we had brunch waiting for us. as i climbed out of the van i made a painful discovery... my inner thighs were chaffed raw! i didn't even think about putting on any Body Glide (anti chaffing roll on stick)... On a positive note, my knee never bothered me!!!! i figured by now (evening), it would really be screaming at me - but i'm only experiencing some iliotibial band pain (down the outer knee) in both legs, which is more of a sharper pain, but it's mild over all. i came home and promptly took a shower and then slept for a half hour so now i feel as well as any other saturday. but this morning i wanted to die. okay, maybe not die, but certainly wanted to quit and certainly felt miserable.

Fortunately i ran with other people here and there. that's the only thing that keeps you going when you feel like that. i ran with this girl for a number of miles. i saw a cross on her shirt so i got to strike up a conversation about church. she asked where i went to church and when i told her, she lit up and asked if i knew so and so - which was the girl running about 30 yards ahead of us. Then she said she is probably going to check out my church this weekend or next cause she's heard great things about it - very exciting.

i'm really too tired to even go back through this and check for typos, so my apologies for any and all mistakes! I'll write more Tuesday or Wednesday.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Getting My Waterwings

I may have found my new Thursday workout - pending final approval from my instructor. Today was "water running" in the University pool. We "ran" a number of excercises in both the deep and shallow ends. i was exhausted at the end!! BUT - i didn't aggravate my knee at all!!

See, my knee has never stopped hurting for the last week or so. it used to recover and stop hurting in between workouts. But it has maintained a dull pain for some time now. Overall, it hasn't gotten worse after a work out - but it has progressed to some extent because there is some element of constant pain/discomfort when there wasn't before. I also haven't been icing it like i should.

But anyway, i talked with my professor to see if a water workout could be used in place of one of the weekly workouts. He said it could. But i didn't technically ask if i could emplement that strategy for the remainder of the training. Of course, since he reads my blog, he'll know before i get a chance to ask him "officially" Saturday morning! the goal is to FINISH the marathon, and doing a water workout may just be the ticket to keep me healthy enough to reach that goal.

And Saturday.... it will be 12 miles. It's called the "Auburn Run" because we run from the city of Topeka to the city of Auburn!! this is still not a personal record for me since i've run a half marathon (13.1 miles) - but any future long runs WILL be! I believe we still have a half marathon race (sanctioned race in Lawrence, KS), a 16 mile and a 20 mile run left before the marathon.

i hope the fundraising/pledging is going well! My daughter Cami raised $100 in the first 24 hours!!! no pressure! It's nice to see her excited about it. I'm getting ready to mail out all the envelopes so that you can return the pledge monies at no extra charge to you. I'll send out our mailing address through email for you to have as well (i don't want to post it on this public site).

Saturday, March 04, 2006

The Fundraiser has started!!!

Okay, not quite yet, but i created the flyer and pledge form tonight and will be emailing it to all all of you on the Josie Update list as soon as i finish this blog. Let me know if you can't open the Word document. Coming later, if i have your address, will be self-addressed stamped envelopes for you to return the pledges and form(s) in. Now's the exciting part. From hear it's in God's hands. My desire is that He blesses it beyond our imagination! I may have the gift of Faith and trust in God's provision, but i still get a little nervous when the money's gone. If you read this blog and you are not on the update list, and would like to get the flyer and pledge form, send me an email and i'll get it right out to you.

Thanks again for your continued support and keeping up with me through this process!!

Keeping the cogs turning

Thursday i took it easy in class, just to pamper my knee some more in preparation for this Saturday's run (today). They were doing a lot of lower leg workouts that involved jumping and jumping and some more jumping. however, my feet never left the ground. Puting that kind of stress on my knee would have rendered me useless today...

As for today, man, it was a pretty good day. i was concerned when i woke up cause my knee was already still stiff and painful ( i never got rid of the pain from last Saturday). Certainly reason to be worried about today's TWO HOUR run. But, God is good and my knee loosened up as i ran and basically quit hurting! i had some mild pain in my lower left leg - but i hadn't been stretching as much this week. The orthotics continue to work.

However, i didn't make it the whole two hours. my groin muscle began to hurt, and hurt enough to know i needed to quit running. so i walked the last 30 minutes. for the last, what, two weeks i've assumed the groin pain was injury related and would keep flaring up. But after talking with our professor - he talked about knowing if a pain is just soreness or an injury. And i said i think it's injury related. However, after i got home and showered, etc.... the pain was gone. then i remembered that was the cycle after each class period. Well, that sounds very familiar to my leg and foot pain. those aren't injuries. it only hurts when i run and doesn't hurt any other time. i don't think i've injured my groin muscle. i think it too is related to not stretching enough. That would certainly be more good news that involves a correctable issue.

By the way, okay it's not "by" the way but i forgot to say it earlier.... we ran inside the gym today. it was raining out - which itself isn't a concern. it may have had to do with the cold, but anyway, we ran inside. Personally, i would have much rather ran in the rain, in fact i was actually looking forward to it. it's difficult to run around and around a track for two solid hours. I think next Saturday is our 12 mile "Auburn Run". We'll run from Topeka to Auburn.