Health, Random


I’m thankful for…

  • My health… I’m on a lot of medication, but I’m recovering nicely. For the most part I’m back to normal day-to-day activity. The biggest change is that instead of running I’ve been walking and playing a bit of Wii Fit.
  • My family… My mom has been living with me for the last month and she’s been amazing in helping cook me healthly and nutritious meals and assisting with day-to-day “chores”. Of course my dad, sister, and extended family have been supportive as well from long distance.
  • My ex-boyfriend… This is a weird way to break the news, but Troy and I mutually agreed to end our relationship. However, I’m extremely grateful for the love and care he offered while I was sick and I’m optimistic that we’ll remain very good friends.
  • My job… I returned to work last week and things are going well. Everyone was happy to see me back. I’m lucky that my company offers a nice benefits package including short-term disability assistance which is definitely a good thing since I was away from work for a whole month. I was a little worried, but the offer to relocate to Baltimore is still on the table too.


I haven’t been posting or commenting lately because I’ve been sick. It was really scary. I ended up in the hospital for a week, and I’ve been recovering at home since then. I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned on the blog before that I have lupus, which the doctors think is the cause of my recent illness. I’m doing okay but it’s going to take some time before I’m back at 100% again. At this point I have no idea what’s going to happen with my upcoming races. I’m trying to think positive about making it out to RnR Vegas, but of course my health comes first. Anyway, the blog is going to continue to be on hiatus for awhile until I get my life back in order.


Sick Lisa

Thanks for all the comments on my race report. I’m glad to know that my readers are fellow Chipotle fans. 🙂

I think my crazy travel schedule has finally caught up with me. I’ve been feeling under the weather for a few weeks, but this week has been the worst. I had such a bad cold after coming back from Baltimore that I worked from home the rest of the week. Usually I don’t mind going into work because it’s only a short 15 minute drive. But it was such a relief to not have to think about what to wear and just throw on some sweats and flop on the couch with my computer.

Last night was scary. I won’t go into all the boring details, but the short story is that I had some kind of allergic reaction and went to the emergency room because my tongue was hurting and swollen. Don’t worry, I’m almost better now and I have follow up appointments with my regular doctors next week. I was so thankful to have Troy with me the entire time. I would have been really freaked out otherwise, but he kept me somewhat calm and it was just so good to have him there for support.

Anyway, needless to say I haven’t been running lately. I don’t have the time or energy for it. I think I’m going to take at least another week off then evaluate how I feel. I hope to be running again by November 1 at the latest, which will give me two months to get ready for RnR AZ. Eeek.

Health, Training

Catching Up

Whew, it’s been awhile since I posted. I made it though my first week and a half of training successfully.

August 12 – 3 mile run, 20 minutes elliptical, strength training
I know I’ve alluded in the past to what’s involved with the Expedition Everest Challenge. The first part is a 5k, the second part is an obstacle course, and the third part is a scavenger hunt. Last year the hardest part for me was the first obstacle which was to climb over a series of three hurdles. I’m short and the hurdles came to chest height. I let my gym membership lapse over the summer, but I decided to sign up again in order to get in shape for whatever obstacles they throw our way this year.

August 13 – 3.08 mile run
My first tempo run! Well, it was actually a modified tempo run that I found online at Runner’s World. I wasn’t sure if I could pick up and hold the pace on my own, so I did my workout on the treadmill at the gym. I started with 10 min at 5mph. Then I did 5 x 3 min at 6mph with a 1 min recovery at 4mph in between. I finished with 5 more min at 5mph.

August 14 – 13.66 mile bike ride in 1:16:46
Spent some time with Troy riding at Reach 11.

August 15 – 3.11 mile run

August 16 – 6.2 mile run (Adidas)
According to my training schedule, this was supposed to be 7 miles. But for some reason I had it stuck in my head that I was supposed to do 6 miles and I didn’t double-check the schedule before I left. Oh, well. I know I could have done 7 miles if I wanted to. Looking ahead, I want to do a marathon but I don’t know if I can run for 26.2 straight miles. So I’ve been thinking about a run/walk plan instead. I’ve taken walk breaks during my long runs, but this time I decided to actually take structured walks. I did 5 min run/1 min walk which resulted in an overall pace of 11:28. The run/walk worked well because that time’s decent compared to what I’ve been doing recently, plus I wasn’t that tired when I finished.

August 18 – 2.95 mile run (Asics)
Another (almost) 5k at Road Runner Sports. I didn’t win anything this time. 😦

August 19 – 3 mile run (Asics), 15 minutes elliptical, strength training
More intervals. 1 mile warm up, then 4 x 400s.

August 20 – 4 mile run (Asics)

A couple days ago I noticed that out of the blue I had a slight bump on the outside of my right foot, sort of where the 5th metatarsal (the pinky toe bone) ends. It wasn’t really bothering me, but I was a little worried because I couldn’t find any information online and didn’t want to accidentally do anything that would cause future injury. Yesterday, I called up a podiatrist who was able to fit me in for an appointment today. After looking at my x-rays, he proclaimed that he didn’t see any indication of a stress fracture and that I was okay to keep running. It’s silly, but I was so glad he said I could keep running that it didn’t dawn on me until after I left that I should have asked what could have caused it. Oops. However I did ask about my ongoing problem with my foot going numb, and he said that it was probably a nerve getting irritated. He suggested I loosen my laces, which I’ve already done. But then he also said to try tucking a small sponge inside my shoe underneath the tongue to help relieve the pressure. That’s a trick I’ve never heard or read before, but it makes sense. Now I just have to go out and get a sponge to cut up and fit into my shoes.

Health, Running, Training

A visit to the Sports Medicine Store

Today I had an appointment with my family doctor. It was kind of a waste of time. I had to wait 45 minutes after my appointment time before I got called in by a nurse. And I’m not even exaggerating… there was a clock in the waiting area. I guess I kind of knew that my doctor wasn’t going to be able to do anything directly to treat me. At least she affirmed that it’s okay for me to keep training as long as I feel fine and my lupus doesn’t flare up again. She also gave me a list of area podiatrists to see for my foot problems.

Since I had left work for the day, I decided to drive out to the Sports Medicine Store in Scottsdale. (Yes, that’s the store name… the Sports Medicine Store. I guess there’s no mistaking what they do/sell.) They’re not open on weekends so it’s really hard for me to get over there. I was really happy that Melissa was working. She was there the first time I went to the store and is super helpful. At first I was just going to see if she thought the orthodics could be causing my blisters. But then I decided to talk to her about my other foot problems too – the numbness and metatarsalgia. Melissa was awesome because she totally listened to everything I had to say and really knew her stuff and how to help me.

I have size 5-6 orthodics in my Sauconys and size 7-8 orthodics in my Adidas. She said they both seemed to fit my arches fine, but took the size 7-8s and shaved them down slightly where I’m getting the blisters. Then, she suggested metatarsal pads which could help with both the numbness and pain in the balls of my feet. They have to be positioned properly and it took a bit of time to get it right. I had a hard time telling if the pads were in the right place and verbalizing how it felt. It was even worse than going to the eye doctors and having to choose whether A or B looks better. But Melissa was very patient and never made me feel rushed or like I was wasting her time.

The metatarsal pads had to be glued to the orthodics. Once they were done and dry I expected to pay for the pads, but Melissa said there was no charge. She must have spent at least half an hour with me and didn’t even get to make a sale. What amazing customer service! I wish I had thought to go to the Sports Medicine Store sooner. But it’s easier to say that I need to leave work early for a doctor’s appointment than that I need to go to a store.

So I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the metatarsal pads will do the trick. I guess I’ll give it a couple weeks and if I’m still having problems then I’ll check out one of the podiatrists on the list.

I skipped the track workout for this week again because there’s a slight twinge of pain in the ball of my right foot and I don’t want to irritate it more. I thought about just sitting on my butt and playing video games all night. But I felt guilty about the ice cream I’d had earlier. So I went for a bike ride instead. Even though I had my Garmin I didn’t look at my distance at all. I felt pretty good the whole time and somehow managed to ride 18 miles at a pretty decent speed. That makes me feel so much better about being ready for the duathlon that’s just one month away now… eeek! How did the time pass so quickly?


Another update

Yeah, I’m not so good at coming up with interesting post titles…

I actually did wake up feeling pretty fantastic on Saturday morning. Instead of dragging myself painfully out of bed like the last few days, I channelled Tigger and bounced out of bed, ready to start my day. I think it was the combination of my new medication and getting a couple extra hours of sleep that did it.

I lounged around most of the day yesterday (Saturday) except for another trip to REI in the afternoon. After dinner, I asked Troy what he thought about me doing the race this morning (Sunday). He said, why don’t you take a quick run outside to see how you feel? So that’s what I did. I went for a one mile jog around the neighborhood. I didn’t bring my Garmin so I don’t know my pace but it felt good to be running again. I’ll write up a little more about the race later, but yes I did go to the race this morning. I took it easy and even took a few walk breaks during the race.

I know it probably seems like I’m bouncing back really quickly when just a couple days ago I was complaining about all my aches and pains. So I guess I just want to explain that I don’t have a very severe form of lupus. This was the first major flare up that I can remember in the five years since I was diagnosed. I’m pretty lucky because I know there are other people out there who have to deal with lupus on a more frequent basis. Unfortunately it’s impossible to tell exactly what caused the flare up. I did some research online and a couple possible causes might have been too much sun or not enough rest. I kind of brushed it off when the doctor mentioned a few weeks ago to stay out of the sun, but now I know to take the warning more seriously. I also need to try harder to get my full eight hours of sleep every night.

Health, Running


I heard back from my rheumatologist’s office this morning. It turns out that my recent labwork showed signs that my lupus is flaring up. So that’s the likely culprit behind a lot of my aches and pains. I’m about to head out and pick up a couple prescriptions that should help me. I also made an appointment with my family doctor for next Tuesday. I made the appointment before I heard back from my rheumatologist, but I figure I’ll keep the appointment anyway. Even if the prescriptions help me, I can still go in and talk to my family doctor about the metatarsalgia and make sure that it’s okay for me to start training again.

I had been thinking about doing a 5k at the Phoenix Zoo tomorrow. The initial attraction was being able to run inside the zoo. But even before this lupus flare-up, I had pretty much decided against it. After going with Troy after the Run for the Cheetah, the zoo doesn’t interest me as much anymore. I enjoyed it, but visiting once a year is enough.

I really wish I could do the Arizona Road Racers Rio Vista Luck of the Draw 8k on Sunday. The door prizes intrigue me. From the website:

“Each finisher will receive a playing card when they finish the race. Door prizes will be given away based on the card selected. If more than one person has the same card, then another card will be selected from a different deck of cards. High card wins!”

The current list of door prizes is all food, with plenty of places I like or would like to try. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that they’re giving out participant medals too. And race day registration is only $25. I haven’t completely ruled out going, but unfortunately the chances are slim unless I wake up feeling incredible tomorrow. Oh, well. I guess there’s always next year.

Health, Training

Time off

Troy said to me the other day that maybe I’m just not athletically-inclined. I’m starting to wonder if he’s right.

I’ve been a little achier than usual the past month, but I attributed it to the cycling. The main thing that had been bothering me was that I’d wake up and my fingers would be really stiff to the point where I had a hard time turing doorknobs. But after I stopped gripping my handlebars so tightly it seemed to go away.

Then last week I pulled a muscle or something in my back while strength training at the gym. That lasted for a couple days but seems okay now. Looking back, I guess I should have taken it easy over the weekend but at the time I figured I was well enough.

Monday night I had a really crappy run, but felt fine afterward. That is, until I stood up to leave Pappadeaux where Troy and I had gone for dinner. It felt as though the metatarsalgia was starting to come back in my left foot. So I rested and iced my foot on Tuesday and Wednesday and it seems fine again.

But Wednesday (yesterday) I woke up with a new problem. My left wrist hurt. I figured I just slept on it wrong, but this morning it’s even worse. It hurts when I twist my wrist or move my fingers too much. I can’t close my fist all the way and I can’t use my left hand to drive or type.

I called my rheumatologist’s office this morning and now I’m waiting for a nurse to call me back. I wanted to talk to someone before scheduling an appointment because I’m not really sure if I should see my rheumatologist or maybe go in to my family doctor for a complete physical check-up. I don’t know if all these problems are lupus-related or just a result of too much training. In the meantime, I’ll be taking some time off until I’m back to normal.


Visit to the Doctor

I was diagnosed with lupus in 2003. The past few years I haven’t had any symptoms so I just see a rheumatologist every 4-6 months for a check-up. I had an appointment this morning and mentioned to the doctor that a month ago I had a rash on my nose, but it might have just been a sunburn. He said that using sunscreen is good, but I really should be avoiding the sun as much as possible. (Um… we live in the desert and get over 300 days of sun a year.) I kind of already knew I wasn’t supposed to be spending a lot of time out in the sun but sort of disregarded it. It’s not like I’m lounging at the pool all summer. But now I’m wondering if I should move my weekend long runs from the afternoon to the evening. I’ll think about it.

I almost feel like maybe it’s time to switch doctors, but I don’t quite know how to find someone else. What I need is a doctor who understands my history with lupus as well as my current needs as a runner. Also, it would be nice if this theoretical doctor actually took the time to talk to me instead of making me feel like he’s rushing to get to his next appointment. Maybe what I’m actually looking for is a coach or personal trainer… I don’t know…