December 24, 2009

The Longest Week Of My Life

This Blog posting was originally supposed to be about logging 100 miles of running in a week and what it takes to accomplish this. I was tracking my daily mileage, thoughts, sleep, weather, etc, and was going to pop it up here on Sunday night. Basically I've noticed that anytime I've hit 100 miles in a week it has not been achieved without a high level of sacrifice, pain, dedication, and even doubt as to if my body would recover day after day to allow me to do this. I've always been amazed by weeks end that I've made it through so many peaks and valleys to stand atop my stated goal. Much like running 100 miles in a single day, it's never easy and you just roll through the bad while reminding yourself that the highs are once again just around that next corner. As with most things in life, it's 90% mental, and the rest is all in your head.

Unfortunately, on so many levels, that just wasn't meant to be this week. Running, for the first time in a long time, was about to take a secondary role in my life. In fact running was the absolute farthest thing from my mind come Friday evening. (I've left that partial running diary attached to the bottom of this posting)


Up until my anticipated run tonight, Christmas Eve, I've managed only one 8km run in the last seven days, and that was on Tues night through work. Even then I struggled to get motivated enough to move my ass out the door. Normally I'd take almost all of December off, but with a 100 mile race looming in mid January I was not afforded that luxury this year.

It's amazing the clarity that can find you in rough times like these. I'll elaborate as to her situation in a second, but what was completely evident to me in the last week is that nothing else mattered to me outside of Tamsin's immediate health. I could not focus on anything but thoughts of her sitting in a hospital bed and how I could possibly make that situation better for her. How I could somehow help her get out of there faster, and back onto her feet sooner? Not only did I not run a single step, I didn't think twice about it.

I won't go into too great a detail here as I don't think it would be completely fair to my girlfriend. All I'll say is that I've honestly never seen a human being suffer like that before. We went to the hospital on Friday night, were released with morphine tablets a few hours late, only to be carted back to the hospital on Sat morning via an ambulance.

What has transpired since then has been both gut wrenching and astonishing. Simply put, Tamsin contracted a staph infection from her 'very standard' knee scope last Thursday. On Thursday night and even Friday morning she could not believe how great she felt. We both thought she'd be back to running within three weeks. By late Friday afternoon however everything changed and she quickly plummeted into a world of suffering that I would never wish upon anyone.

Last night (Wed 23rd) she was finally released from hospital, but life hasn't gotten any easier just yet. She's still in constant pain, and is almost bed ridden. The newest prognosis is that her full recovery will take up to four months, and it will likely be a full month before the swelling in her knee even recedes. I am left wishing there were something I could do to alleviate her pain, and constantly struggle with that fact that I am powerless to do so.

For now, we take solace in the slight positives that we can attach ourselves to. First and foremost, we're home for The Holidays, and right now, that's all that really matters. Being surrounded by family and loved ones will undoubtedly expedite the recovery process for her, and everyone who knows Tamsin is completely confident that the fighter in her will trump even the best case scenarios the Doctors can come up with. And on that note, I'm done on here and off to spend Christmas Eve with my girlfriend. I hope Santa is good to both of us!

Decide at beginning of week what priorities will be, make running number 1, every decision after that is based upon getting mileage in first

Monday: Supposed to get in an easy 10k, to boost miles early, get free tickets to The Vancouver Canucks hockey game! Plus am still kinda hung over from Staff Party previous night.

Sleep: 6.5hr
Work: 1p-9p
Miles: AM 25k/17m - PM 5k/3m
Times Ran: 9am-12pm - 6:30pm-7:00pm
Climate: Cold, wet, slippery, icy

Slept in, tired, thinking too much sugar lately not doing me any favors. First 5km sucked, my right shin and foot bothering me, take it slow. Was dry when started but rains begin within 30m, not happy. Not really into it, think about shorting route numerous times. Reflect upon running 100m race in one months time, push through. By 10k feel better, at 15k feeling great! Get into a rhythm I haven't felt in quite awhile. My mind is absent from my body and the terrain flows underneath me effortlessly. This abruptly halts when I crest a small climb, lean into the downhill, and find myself dancing upon a surface of black ice! Best 'trail bail' in a few years, no damage done. Happy to knock down 25k before work and will get to add another 5km to it through run clinic tonight. Happy

PM, ran an easy paced 5k with clinic tonight. Body sore and hurting. Right ankle bothering me, quads tight, feeling left glute med...not happy...shouldn't have skipped out on my ice bath this morning!

S 8hr
C Rain, dammit
M 41.6k / 26m
T 10am
W Off

Swear to myself that I'll never sign up for another 100m in January...unless I somehow find myself living in the Southern Hemisphere!

Tired start to day and body feeling sore, kinda like lingering soreness from full contact tobaganning on Sun night? Looked like would be great morning for a run but now it's raining sideways out there...uggh, 40k to knock down...this sucks!

First ten minutes my right ankle keeps locking up on me, go from 1/2 run to hobble to 1/2 run n back. Figure it'll loosen up and within ten minutes it's fine. This is new and hoping it's nothing serious. Actually feeling pretty good, better than thought I would. Soaking wet but not cold, 2 degrees colder would have made for a long miserable day! Do a 20.8k loop with 1700 feet of climb n descent. Drop off Roxy and change clothes. Happy with a 30 min turn around as the rain has increased and it's not looking pretty outside. Get moving and feel surprisingly good again! Knocking down the miles and again not cold, just wet. Felt really good till about 33k and then felt nauseous. Never feel nauseous on runs. Concerns me, hoping haven't caught a bug. Last 8km kills me and gets increasingly tougher. Wasn't pushing pace at all today but destroyed by end of run. Into ice bath and suck back recovery drink n food. Hoping this doesn't take too much outta me for tomorrow and rest of week!

S 5h45m
W 8-12 4-8 (Split shift for Tamsin's Knee Surgery)
M 21k / 13m
T 2pm
C 10 Degrees/Overcast/Perfect! No gloves/hat/jacket!

Same thing in first ten minutes, right ankle not wanting to bear weight. Eventually loosens up without issue.
First loop good (flat gravel around Burnaby Lake), sub 40m, time left for second loop, left Achilles starts to hurt at 13km, push through. Great run, happy with how felt, for most part, but realize I need to get my calves and Achilles looked at. Immediately text Lesley White and book in for massage tomorrow. Achilles ends up very swollen later in evening

S 7h30m
W 11-7
M 0

Day off, sports massage to start day, Achilles still swollen plus now a sizable swollen bruise on same shin? Looks like impact but can't remember any? Massage hurts, Lesley suggests physio, water running, etc...tell her I need it to be better for tomorrow!
Also see Dr. Bovard, and told I can push through pain as long as not getting worse. Have to work on heel drops to strengthen. Wondering if wearing dress shoes with higher heel cup on Sunday night aggravated it??


Amazed at how much better I felt, but running was furthest thing from my mind by this point in time



Devon said...

Take care of yourself and Tamsin. It is very interesting how situations such as these really put things in perspective. Hope Santa was good to both of you. Best wishes and Happy New Year. See you at HURT!

Jeremy Hopwood said...

Thoughts with you guys and best wishes for Tasmin to have a healthy road to recovery ahead of a fun spring and summer of running

Leslie said...

That sucks, G.R! Good thoughts to Tamsin and you. New challenges! I know you're taking good care of your honey, Happy New Year to you both.

Leslie and Keith

Unknown said...

So sorry to hear about Tamsin's complications from her surgery - we both wish her the best and hope she recovers quickly - hang in there, is she in Hawaii with you? Doone and Tim

garobbins said...

Hey guys, thanks for your concern, she's finally starting to recover from it all and I'm hoping she'll be back to running again within another 4-6 wks!
She could not join me to Hawaii, but we are celebrating her B.Day tonight!
Hope to see you guys again sometime soon!!