Four Days and Twenty-One Miles

That’s what this crap I’ve had has cost me so far.  I missed Saturday’s 12 miles, Monday’s 5, and Tuesday’s 4.  I finally started feeling better late yesterday morning, and I briefly considered trying to get in a few miles after work, but I decided against it.  I didn’t want to risk trying to jump back in too soon.  I’ve been completely ZONKED with this!  But I’m back among the living today, so I plan to ease back out there this afternoon.  If nothing else, these four days off have completely taken care of that nagging glute pain that I’ve had since January.  So there’s that.

(Oh, and Harley’s tummy is all better now too.  I don’t know what was up with that, but I’m glad it’s better.  That was ROUGH!)

If I had to get sick, I’m glad it happened when it did and not next week.  I’ve got a half-marathon PR attempt coming up on the 9th!  I hope I’m back to 100% by Saturday (surely to God I will be!) to get in one more good long run before then.

Down With the Sickness

Last week when I came home from work and found D already home and in bed, I knew that was not a good sign.  He’s not your typical man when he’s sick.  He doesn’t get all whiney and pitiful.  He sucks it up and works right through it.  So when he goes down, it’s pretty bad.  I don’t know what he had because he never went to the doctor (He IS a typical man in that regard.), but whatever it was it only hung around a couple of days.

I’m hoping that will be my case too.  I was fine when I went to bed Friday night.  About 5:00 am Saturday I woke up with a sore throat.  It wasn’t too bad.  And it was okay because I had already planned to move my long run (12 miles) to Sunday anyway because it was supposed to storm all day Saturday.  So I went about my normal business just fine all day.  Last night when I finally sat down on the couch, in typical Pam fashion, I was asleep within a few minutes.  When I woke up around midnight, I could just feel it.  I told D right then, “I don’t know if there will be any running tomorrow.”

And, alas, there is no running today.  Instead, there’s lots of laying around in my fuzzy PJs with my blanket and drinking hot tea.

I’m not the only sickly one in the house right now.  Poor Harley has the screaming shits.  We knew he had a raging case of gas Friday night.  It was baaaaaaaaad.  He cleared the room a couple of times.  No cause for concern.  Dogs fart.  Then when I got up Saturday morning and opened their bedroom door, the stench nearly doubled me over.  He had left us several presents.  Luckily, they were mostly on the old area rug that was in their room.  We didn’t even attempt to salvage that rug.  It was rolled up, placed in the bed of D’s truck, and taken to the dump.  His tummy troubles persisted through the day yesterday and once through the night last night, and he’s even vomited a couple of times.  He doesn’t act like he feels bad.  He’s still running around and play fighting with Bella and acting like his normal goofy-ass self.  But he’s not eating or drinking.  I’m giving him ice cubes to make sure he doesn’t dehydrate, and I tried to give him some Pepto-Bismol, but that just ended up in an unsuccessful pink mess.  We’re at the 24-hour mark now, so we’ll see how he does today.  He probably needs to eat something, so I may try a bland diet of boiled chicken and rice today.  And if he keeps it up I guess we’ll be back at the vet tomorrow.  Which is AWESOME because I had been worried all weekend about what I was going to do with that extra $30 I had left after paying the bills this week.

Three Things Thursday

1.  I woke up with yet another pimple this morning.  Seriously, am I 31 or 13?

2.  I will be trying my hand at gardening this spring.  Please pray for my plants’ lives.  I was planning on joining a CSA this year, but that’s just another thing that’s been knocked off the list thanks to my buddies at the good ol’ IRS.  I’m not going to go overboard.  You know.  In case I really suck at it.  I’m thinking I’ll try mainly the easy stuff that I spend the most money on:  strawberries, tomatoes, cucumbers…

3.  I’m writing this from my laptop as I sit on my back deck enjoying this BEAUTIFUL afternoon.  It is 73 degrees and sunny with a breeze.  I do believe it’s the most gorgeous day we’ve had yet this spring.  I plan to soak it up before it starts raining tomorrow.  I’m actually supposed to be running right now, but I’m ditching.  Shhhhhhhh…  I know, I know… all winter long I DREAMED of days like these to run in, but this afternoon I am enjoying chilling on the deck with a cold beverage and watching the dogs wrestle and play and run in the back yard.  Although it is hard to type up a post when all you can see is this:

My reflection in the laptop screen.

Harley says, “I always stretch after a strenuous afternoon of cardio.”  Have you ever seen a more perfect downward dog?

2 Days, 25 Degrees

Holy balls, what a difference two days can make.  I ran 5 easy miles Thursday.  That’s what my training plan called for.  And honestly I found it difficult to run at the easy pace that my plan has prescribed.  It felt too slow.  I felt awkward and clumsy and just well… weird.  But it was an enjoyable run.  It was cloudy and 35 degrees.  There was still a lot of snow on the ground and clinging to the trees.  It was beautiful.  And I had two running partners for the last half of the run.  Two golden retrievers joined me.  I don’t know who they belong to, but I’ve seen them in that neighborhood before.  They had obviously been having themselves a big ol’ time.  They were soaking wet from head to toe (There’s a creek in the area near where they joined me.  I suspect they had been swimming.), tails and tongues wagging.

Fast forward to Saturday.

It was 60 degrees and sunny.

Get that?  Thursday 35 and snow.  Saturday 60 and sun.  Thursday tights and long sleeves.  Saturday shorts and a tank top.  The day was simply gorgeous, but this gal hasn’t run in anything above 40ish degrees in months!  I still find it absolutely amazing the role that temperature acclimation plays in my running performance.  To put it bluntly, I SUCKED the entire six miles yesterday.  The pace that I couldn’t run slow enough to keep on Thursday, I was struggling to run that fast on Saturday.

Ah well.  It’ll come back.  Maybe.

Update on Harley:  He’s doing MUCH better!  The bandage is off now.  It still looks like hell.  It is ugly and gross, but the vet says it looks just like what he wants it to look like.  All that dead black skin has sloughed off, and he lost all the hair in the area where the blood flow suffered.  All that you see now is that bright red, raw skin.  He gave me some disinfectant to spray on it a couple of times a day and said he should be good to go.  He’s not acting like it bothers him whatsoever anymore.  He’s 100% back to his old self.  He and Bella and wrestling in the back yard as I type this.  He does still lick it a lot, but that’s to be expected with a dog with a wound.  As of right now, we don’t have to go back until the middle of February.  He’s due for his shots then anyway, that will hopefully be the final check on his tail.  After that, fingers crossed, we’re done!

On Display

My birthday present from my husband finally came in this week!  He ordered this for me from Allied Medal Displays.  Pretty flippin’ sweet, huh?  Now it just needs some more medals to go on it.  (From L to R, Clarksville Half Marathon ’09, CMM Half Marathon ’10, Clarksville Half Marathon ’10, and RnR Vegas Marathon ’10.)  I learned about this company from the giveaways they have done through other blogs.  I highly recommend that you enter these giveaways.  Or if not, do as I did and come off a few bucks ($39 plus shipping for this one) and buy one.  I couldn’t be happier with mine.

I also found something to keep my race bibs in.  I’ve seen the Bibfolios, but those are just too expensive.  And a little too cutesy and scrapbooky for my taste. 

This was like six bucks on eBay.  It’s just a cheap 8×10 photo album, but slap a couple of 13.1 and 26.2 stickers on it and TAH-DAH!  You have yourself a bib display.

And this one is old, but while we’re on the subject… this is my only trophy.  I got it in 2003 when I ran my first (and only until 2009) 5K and took 1st place in my age group.  (No, you most certainly may NOT ask how many people were in the group!)

Not that I expect to add any more bling to my collection as a result, but I have my second race of the year this morning.  It’s a 5-miler at Natchez Trace State Park.  It’s part of the Tennessee State Park Running Tour.  Pretty courses and dirt cheap entry fees ($6 no-shirt option)?  Yes, please!  We’ve had some crappy weather and it’s pretty cold (20 right now), so here’s hoping that everyone else in my age group stays home snuggled up warm.

Update on Harley:  We went back for a recheck yesterday. They had to sedate him to get a good examination.  They think the tissue was so traumatized by the surgery (Doc says the tail is a very difficult place to do surgery on.  I can see how that would be.) that the bloodflow to the distal tail has suffered.  While he was zonked out, they did some kind soak trying to stimulate blood flow.  While the tail was soaking, the vet was explaining to me that after the soak he was going to pin-prick the tail and that we wanted to see blood.  And we did.  So that was a very good sign.  He sent us home with the tail wrapped up really good and gave us an e-collar.  Whoa boy.  The dreaded e-collar.  Poor fella just stood there petrified when I put it on him.  After about 20 minutes of standing there, he took a couple of steps and when the collar “followed” him, he FLIPPED. HIS. SHIT.  I feel terrible for doing something that scares him so badly, but I know it’s for his own good.  Doc says as the blood flow increases the tail will tingle and he will be even more likely to lick and chew it and do further damage, so the collar is a must if we’re going to avoid our absolute worst-case scenario, which is that the tail would have to be amputated above the incision site.  Recheck middle of next week.  Until then, thank God for tramadol (for him) and wine (for me).  (Side note:  I absolutely love my vet.  As many times as we’ve been back since the surgery (three) he has not charged me one red cent except the cost of his meds.  This guy is truly in it for the animals, not the money.  A rare gem.)

Three Things Thursday – Animal Edition

1.  Harley is having a lot of problems with his tail post-op.  I have had to take him back to the vet a couple of times.  Once just because I thought he had pulled a stitch out.  (He hadn’t.)  And yesterday because he really started just acting like he didn’t feel good.  He was being really pissy with Bella, and I noticed him really guarding his tail.  He wouldn’t wag it or anything.  He just kept it curled up next to his body.  When I made him let me look at it, it was red and swollen.  Not just around the wound either.  From the incision all the way to the tip of his tail.  He was running a fever at the vet’s office, so they gave me another week’s worth of a stronger antibiotic and some pain pills.  We go back tomorrow for a recheck and for suture removal.  He doesn’t seem any better to me today.  It hurts my heart to know that he is hurting.  They did call me back today with the lab results.  The path report showed that it was a histiocytoma.  Completely benign.  Thank God for that.
2.  It is driving Bella crazy that Harley won’t play with her.  She, in turn, is driving us crazy.  It’s cold and snowy and crappy out, so our outside time is limited.  She has a lot of energy to burn off and she’s doing it by getting into EVERYTHING.  She has even found a new place to sleep–in my dining room table.
3.  C.C. has woke me up at approximately 4:00 the past three mornings.  Apparently something has happened during the night that she just couldn’t wait to tell me about because she comes into the bedroom tellin’ it all.  “Meow…. MEOW….MEEEEEEEEEOOOOOOOWWWWW!!!!!!”

Ten… nine… eight…

Counting backward from 10 is supposed to keep you from blowing your lid, right?

My children are driving me nuts tonight.  (My children are my animals, for those of you that aren’t aware.)

Harley had surgery today.  He had a tumor removed from his tail.  When I gave him a bath last weekend I noticed a little bump about 2/3 the way down the shaft of his tail.  I didn’t think much about it at the time.  He and Bella are bully breeds and they play ROUGH and CONSTANTLY, and they both always have little nicks and scabs as a result.  I thought that’s all this was.  But within a couple of days this proved not to be the case.  This this grew in size very quickly and became red and scaly.  I made an appointment and took him in yesterday afternoon to be seen.  The vet said it was a tumor, which he believed to be benign but said it definitely needed to come off and be biopsied to be sure.  Surgery was scheduled for this afternoon.

On my lunch hour, I made a mad dash to the house to pick him up and took him to the vet’s office.  Although we have had him for almost a year, he still hasn’t gotten over his fear of unfamiliar men (He was rescued from an abusive male owner.), so Doc asked me, for Harley’s sake, to keep his stress level at the lowest possible level, if I could hang around until they gave him a sedative.  I so didn’t want to because I was afraid it would bring back the still-very-raw memories of being in the room when I had to have my baby girl Lucy put to sleep a couple of years ago.  Bet since the vet felt it was best for Harley, I stayed.  Turns out my fears were completely unfounded.  There was no comparison.  And let me just say… if you’ve never had the opportunity to watch a dog be sedated, put it on your to-do list.  It’s like watching Saturday night in a bar in extreme fast forward.  He went from stone-cold sober, to wobbling a little bit, to stumbling, to laying in the floor with his tongue hanging out within a matter of about three minutes.

With that, I went back to work.

I picked him up when I got off, and he was still pretty woozey.  Doc said he would be for a little while yet.  As soon as we got home, he jumped up on the couch (after one failed attempt–still drunk!) and tried to go to sleep.  My dear darling Bella would have no part of that.  She wanted to play, and it was driving her up the stinking wall that he wouldn’t.  She was barking and rooting around on the floor and moaning and just making a complete ass of herself and driving me crazy in the process.  I guess Harley finally decided she wasn’t going to leave him alone until he got up, so he got up and tried to play a little bit… and got sick all over the place.  (Vet said he would be nauseous from the anesthesia.)  I didn’t figure he could have much in his stomach since he hadn’t eaten since yesterday afternoon, but something came from somewhere.  Ew.

He laid back down and went to sleep.  I turned my back for a few minutes and next thing I know he appears at my side sans bandage.


I looked at the wound thinking maybe I could just leave it off, but nope.  Doc wasn’t able to get good skin closure where the tumor was excised, so it was gaping a little bit in the middle.  I called him on his cell, and he said if he would leave it alone it should be fine.  But no.  He would not leave it alone.  Back to town to Walgreens I went to get the makings of a wrap.

And in the time it’s taken me to type this, he’s already thrown up again.

So today I’ve spent WAY too much money on unexpected bills, dealt with temper tantums from the jealous one, and been elbow deep in vomit, and played nurse on top of working all day, cooking supper for the humans, etc.  (No running for this gal today.)

And people wonder why I don’t have kids.