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World Famous Trolley Run

… and by world famous, I mean famous in the world of Sheena.

After last week’s super emotional Honored Teammate Picnic, this run was much needed. The hardest part of last week was watching one of the Green Teams Honored Teammate, little Angel Jr, who is around the same age as CJ was when he passed away, run around with his little brother. He had the same energy and spirit that CJ did when he was going through his treatments. Always smiling, never complaining.

So back to the Trolley run!  This one is nice because it’s not an out and back run (less chance of Sheena missing her turn-around!).  We meet at the Linda Vista/Morena trolley station, park and drop all of our stuff, hop on the trolley to downtown, hop off and run back to Linda Vista.  This is a picture from last years trolley run (L-R: Denise, Marsha, me and Chanté).
2010 Trolley Run
Marsha didn’t make the run this year and Chanté isn’t doing TNT this year, so it was just me and Denise, but neither of us had a camera).  My bladder was protesting as soon as we started to stretch downtown, with not a bathroom in sight.  So off we went on our run, me willing my bladder to be good and just pleaassseee wait until the first marked bathroom on our run map (at mile 5!), or find a store along our route that was open that early and had a bathroom.  No such luck, since most of it was either residential or mixed residential/small shops, all of which were closed at 730am on a Saturday.

We kept running, up one gigantic hill, and a lot of deep breathing was done.  On top of that, my knee had been feeling a little funky since Thursday morning, and I could definitely feel it protesting throughout the run, but I tried to push through the discomfort.  I ended up somehow making it to the 5-mile mark and to the bathroom (I have no idea how I managed that. If you’ve met my roadtrip bladder, you know what I’m talking about!)  Before the run, I told myself that if I could only do 5 miles today, I was ok with that since my knee was acting up.  Well, I felt alright enough to keep going, so I ended up doing 8.1 with Denise.  The most painful part was when we would have to stop at lights; once we started going again, I had to hobble/limp for the first 15-20 feet because my knee was NOT happy.  BUT WE MADE IT! 8.1 miles, my longest run ever! (If you remember my issues last year, my longest run with TNT in 2010 was about 5 miles, before I injured my tibia, so this gave me major good feelings inside).

The rest of Saturday was basically impossible to walk, but with the help of ice, lots of ibuprofen and a nice nap, it’s feeling a bit better today.  This coming week will all be spent pool running to take the pressure off my knee while still getting mileage in, and instead of a long weekend run, our entire TNT team will be completing the Carlsbad 5000 on Sunday, so I can hammer out 3 miles. 3 miles is nothing at this point!

PB / Honored Teammate Picnic

So, I’ve had 2 good weeks in a row. As some of you know, I had to go back in for another xray, and the doctor still didn’t see any sign of a stress fracture on my left leg.  So now she is referring me to the Sport Injury department at Kaiser so we can dig deeper and figure out what the heck is going on.  Sooo, since she didn’t see anything, I of course was going to keep running until they find something!

Last week was at Henry’s in PB, and I was only supposed to run 6.1 miles.  Armed with a map in my pocket, I took off with 2 other ladies on my team, Corine and Heather.  Since they’re both training for the full, they were doing a longer run, and knew I needed to turn around before them.  Queen of the “I missed the turnaround” shows up again and guess what? Hey! I missed my 6.1 mile turn around, even though I was totally looking for it. Sad, right? Oh well, that just means a little extra mileage for me.  So I turned around and headed toward the last aide station I had hit, eager for a nice gulp of water. I ran into Eva and Haya, so we took off back towards Henry’s.  I sped up a little and Eva hung back to run with Haya, so I joined up with Bill (sometimes his Marines show up and do aide station for us), and ran all the way back with him at a pace of anywhere between 9:40-10:15/mile. Not bad! (and by ran all the way back, I literally mean ALL the way back. When we got to the entrance of the Henry’s parking lot, he challenged me to a sprint to the finish.. it was ON!).  I ended up running 7.5 miles, and my legs didn’t cramp up the entire time. HALLELUJAH!

That brings us to this morning.  We met at Vacation Isle (a spot we’ve frequented for short and long runs alike), for our weekly group run (this time green + purple teams), followed by our Honored Teammate Picnic.  I ran with Denise (I don’t know how I get through runs without her!) for 7.3 miles.  Now many people often ask “why the heck do you get up so early on Saturdays?” or “You’re crazy, why do you even run?” or “Why are you always fundraising?”  Because the world doesn’t revolve around me, and this is something much bigger than myself.  There are many things I cannot control in my life, but this is something that I can put my everything into and know it’s for the greater good.

We had an amazing speech from the green team honored teammate, Caleb, who at the age of 24, has battle leukemia 3 times. 3 TIMES!  He told us of his struggles, how his family dealt with relapse after relapse and how he was told “there is nothing more we can do,” the words no cancer patient wants to hear, especially not a college sophomore.  Luckily, Caleb is currently in remission and is training every Saturday, along with his entire family, to complete the Rock n Roll marathon in San Diego on June 5th.  We also were introduced to the honored teammate for the purple team, as well as 3 other survivors and 1 currently battling, all of whom joined us for our picnic.    After everything they have been through, they came to our picnic to simply say “thank you.”  Needless to say, many tears were shed.

To answer all your questions, THAT is why I do what I do.

back in the game

Session #2 of Team in Training was yesterday morning, and I made it through! NGL, I was terrified when the season started to approach.  Why? I’m terrified of re-injuring myself.  Terrified doesn’t even begin to explain how I was feeling; anxious, paranoid, etc.  For the first 2 sessions, even though I was moving as slow as molasses, every time my left foot would start to make contact with the ground, I was just anticipating crippling pain shooting through my leg, with me collapsing on the ground in tears. Every single step for 2.1 miles the first week and 3.2 miles yesterday.  Even though the x-ray came back with positive results, I just know it’s there, lurking, waiting for the perfect moment to fracture again. Yesterday I made it 3.2 miles (a 5k! I haven’t been able to run that since mid-April 2010!), although not completely pain-free.  My right hip flexor started to protest around mile 2, and has since been showing it’s disdain for me being active again. I’m hoping the soreness/tightness/pain is just from being idle for so long, and once I get back into the swing of things again, it will go away, instead of being IT band issues or something of that nature.  But, again with the paranoia, I had leg pain last year, thought it was minor and that I could push past is, and ended up with stress fractures 🙁 Oy.  So for the next couple days, I will be Stretchy McStretcherson and foam roll the heck out of it, in hopes that that’s all it needs!

Where do you begin?

It’s been far too long.  I feel like sometimes I don’t have anything to write, since nothing major has changed in my life, and each day seems to just roll right into the next without any excitement.  Well so what! I need to embrace each day with a fresh pair of eyes, and let the little things bring me joy, rather than waiting and anticipating and stressing over some major change that may not actually be in my cards.

So what little things have made me happy recently? Breaking out the flip flops for the first time in what seems like forever.  Feeling the warm breeze and sand between my toes. Driving to Cardiff to sit on the most amazing beach all by myself, with only my thoughts and the sound of the ocean waves – the most amazing and comforting solitude I could ever ask for.  As it starts to warm up again in San Diego, I find myself longing to re-learn to surf, and to surf the right way (no offense MBAC).  Finding the most amazing little coffee shop in Oceanside that just feels like home, and is worth the insane drive for the cozy feeling it gives me.

Team in Training season starts again in one week and I slept in for my last Saturday until July (who am I kidding? I haven’t slept in on a Saturday in ages).  Sleeping in actually ended up being waking up before my alarm, and having to settle with sleeping in until 9am.  It’s better than 545am!  The beginning of the season brings a whole cornucopia of feelings – excited to be getting back to the green team, to familiar faces, to the joys of running and experiencing new parts of San Diego, to getting teary eyed at every session when someone shares their story of why they are committed to raising money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society; on the other side, I am completely terrified.  After having stress fractures last season and not being able to complete the marathon was a huge let down for me.  I was devastated because I had put so much into it, physically, mentally and emotionally. I’m terrified that I will get hurt again.  I will jog slowly at first to start things off and once I start feeling good again, I will get re-injured. I am overly cautious and am running with fear instead of joy.  I’m hoping my next bone scan will show that my legs are completely healed so that I can run freely again!

legs of (not so) steel

I just wanted to put something out there for my donors and whoever may be reading this that has been following. There have been some changes made in the last 2 weeks and I wanted to update you all, since you have been an integral part of this amazing process.

What started out as shin splints has turned into a stress fracture in my tibia.  When we thought it was just shin splints, I continued to try to work past the pain each week, resting my legs when appropriate.  After 4 weeks of ‘shin splints’ and the pain continuing to get worse, I discovered tenderness in my shin bones that made it almost unbearable to run (I cried during a group run, so it was pretty painful).  After the tenderness and pain became apparent even while walking, I had my legs examined and it was determined that what we thought were shin splints was actually a tibial stress fracture.

It is with a very heavy heart that I discontinue training this season and remove myself from the marathon in June.  If I continue training, I could do real lasting damage to my legs, and I really don’t want that!   Please know that the donation you made is going to a fantastic organization, and you’re helping to find a cure for blood cancers!  As soon as my legs are healed, I will begin training again for whatever race is during that season, and I hope you all will continue to support me in my journey to the finish line and to finding a cure!

sehr enttäuscht

My legs just won’t seem to heal and it’s one things after the other! First my shins start to every so slowly get better.  Then my calves start tightening like rocks to the point where it’s so painful.  Push past the tears and continue running.  Now something is wrong with my right ankle/top of my foot.  When will this be over so I can train!?

On a better note, Arizona was AMAZING! Spring training, worrying about nothing but baseball, hot dogs and beer (or giant dr. peppers for me!)  Worked on my tan while watching my Mariners play, saw Griffey hit a bottom of the 9th, 1 out, bases loaded, full count, down by 3 grand slam to win the game from 3 rows up and celebrated with high fives all around.  All the while, was drooled on by the most adorable baby ever.  Now I’m back to work and trying to keep myself busy with that so I don’t get too depressed about not being able to run right now. *sigh*

TNT is where it’s at!

First day back to running in about 2.5-3 weeks.  Dr. said to only do 3 miles on Saturday, but the 1/2 marathoners were scheduled to do 4.1, so I just decided to run with them.  Saturday was the trolley run.  Park and hop on the trolley at Morena, ride it downtown and then run from downtown SD back to your car! About 1/2 a mile into the run, my new insoles starting rubbing wrong on the arch of my right foot, so for the remaining 3.5 miles, I was favoring my left leg and running on the outside of my right foot, attempting to lessen any impact on my arch.  It felt like it was literally slicing my arch 🙁 When I finished (limping, mind you), I took off my sock and shoe and there was a killer blister in my arch 🙁 The insoles need to be broken in ASAP, because they help out my shin splints A LOT and I don’t want to run without them!