Sunday, June 18, 2017

Tapering ...on steroids (literally)


Well, to say my final week of tapering (for Grandma's Marathon) was out-of-the-ordinary would be an understatement.


While most runners dread the taper before a big race, I actually embrace it. I treat it as a mini vacation before the grand event. Kind of like the calm before the storm....

As I was getting ready to head upstairs for bedtime on Sunday evening, I noticed my right knee felt weird. Kind of like I had bumped it and a bruise was forming...except there was no visible bruise (and I could not recall bumping it on anything). No big whoop.

Monday morning I got up, met Barb for our #5at5, and all felt fine. Well, the knee hurt if I touched it, and it did feel warm, but I wasn't worried about it. I didn't feel anything strange or "off" while running.
Another five miles at 5 a..m. 
Later in the morning, though, I noticed it continued to hurt and appeared to be swelling even more. Also, the swollen areas were looking red and continued to feel "hot."

Tuesday morning, I could barely bend my leg. I have never had arthritis, but I got a very strong taste of it from the way my leg/knee joint was feeling. There was more redness, more "heat," and even more discomfort. I had not slept well, either, because I could not get comfortable...every sleep position made my knee hurt.
Ugh...the right knee is not feeling very joyous...
I was able to get in to see my family doctor at 10:00. She took one look at my knee and said, "Wow." She was concerned it was infected and was leery of treating it with meds (#steroids) without knowing just how severe things were. Keep in mind, I live in a pretty small town. We have a ton of family practice docs, but very few specialists. She sent me to Des Moines (an hour away) and I headed to the  urgent care center of the (referred) orthopedic clinic...and they were waiting for me.

They took some x-rays, and the doctor there extracted some of the fluid from the site of the swelling. All the fluids were clear (no infection, thank goodness!). She shot some steroids into the bursa surrounding my knee, wrapped me up, and told me to take things easy for a couple of days (in other words....stay off my feet, keep the knee area compressed, and do not bend my knee anymore than absolutely necessary for the next 24 hours). She also said I was cleared to run the marathon IF I felt better by the next day (which would be a sign the steroids were working).
I really wish the ugly Ace wrap came in a cheetah print...
Did you get all of that?

Anyways, Wednesday arrived, and I could tell already my knee was feeling better. Only a little bit of swelling remained, the skin no longer felt hot, and the achiness was gone.  Whew! Ever obedient, I dutifully wrapped my leg back up after my shower and headed to work. I was able to go for a 2-mile walk after work...and felt like a caged bird that had been set free!
I was so excited to unwrap the knee and go for a walk...that I forgot to take off my "workday" jewelry
I probably could have run my #5at5 Thursday morning, but elected to walk a #4at5 instead. Why tempt fate? There's absolutely no fitness to be gained by running five miles two days out from my marathon anyways (I did run the last 1/2 mile back to my house, though, and everything felt great).
Look at that! I can bend my knee again!
Already, by Thursday morning, my knee was looking almost back to normal. My left hamstring felt a bit "off," but that was probably from spending the previous two days walking with a compromised stride (from not bending my right leg much). 
Ahhh...the right knee looks like its counter part again
Friday morning, Barb and I hit the road, headed for Duluth! It's an approximate 6-hour drive, and we wanted to get there and have time to hit the expo, eat a good (pasta) dinner, and have plenty of time to relax before lights-out. 
Displaying IMG_1558.JPG
Duluth bound!
While at the expo, it was great being reunited with Gina (from Running Around the Boyz).

Saturday. Go time. Barb and Gina and I caught the train to the start line of the race, and it was so exciting to finally meet Rachel (from Running on Happy)! I tell you...all of these awesome blogger/social media pals of mine are simply amazing. After knowing  each other for a long time (via the computer), and then meeting them in person...well, it feels like a reunion with a long lost friend from childhood. 
Yes...I took my sidewalk chalk along with me to Minnesota
I'll save the nitty gritty details for the race recap, but I'll give you this spoiler alert: there were PR's happening left and right, and a lot of laughter as well.


All smiles despite the heat and tough race conditions
Sunday morning, it was time to head back to Iowa. Not too eager for a long car ride (and subsequent post marathon stiffness), I spent awhile with my foam roller before we hit the road.
My knee felt fine, though it looks swollen in the pic (from the awkward camera angle)
 In case you missed them, there were only two blog posts last week (due to my long day of travel and limited access to wifi service):



In other news:

My #FridayFashionFlair was actually my outfit from Thursday. My "real" Friday outfit was nothing spectacular (hello? I was riding in a car for 6+ hours, after all). Anyways, what do you think of the cold shoulder tops? I'm all over them....they are so cute and chic! And, you can never go wrong with a black and white combo...especially when you add colorful and funky accessories. (Pssst...are you following me on Instagram? Post a #FridayFashionFlair pic and tag me {@runningonthefly}!)

Do you love these cold shoulder tops as much as I do?
So, that's a wrap! As you can see, there were not too many miles happening (until race day), but my total mileage (Monday - Sunday) came in at 32. Due to my knee bursitis scare, I held off on some of my June challenges (various yoga balance positions) in hopes of not putting any unnecessary strain on my knee. Thankfully, the steroid treatment (and prescription strength anti-inflammatory meds) did the trick, and everything was in working order for race day. Again, WHEW!

Have you ever had a bursitis flair? Have you met any of your virtual blogger/social media pals in person? What's the farthest you have ever driven to a race?

I'm linking up with Tara (on behalf of Holly and Tricia) for the Weekly Wrap. Please join us! 







36 comments:

  1. I've had bursitis in the hip before and that was not fun. I am assuming the knee did not bother you during the race which is a good thing. Looking forward to the race recap!
    I've been trying to play along with your #FridayFashionFlair! -M

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    1. Thankfully, the knee was A-OK for the race ;-) IT's been fun following your Friday fashions! Keep playing!!

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  2. I totally agree about meeting fellow bloggers in person. It's like I've known you forever already! :)

    I've never tried a cold shoulder top. I'm not trendy at all. I think I may actually sign up for stitch fix after our convo!

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    1. Woot!! Go for it!! The Grandma's meet-up (and race) was totally amazing ;-) I'm SOOOO glad you were there at my side ;-)

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  3. I love the taper before a big race too! It’s kind of like a much needed resting period! I’m so glad your knee got better in time for the race! That’s crazy that it just swelled up like that out of the blue. Sounds like it was a fun race!! So glad you got to run it!

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    1. The knee thing was freaky! I don't think any of the running caused it, but it probably did aggravate it (?)

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  4. that is so strange about your knee! So glad it's feeling better. Your race looked amazing can't wait to read all about it

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    1. The race had some frustrating moments, but overall was fabulous!!!

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  5. So happy that everything worked out in the end. I know that must have been very concerning to have your knee swell up like that so close to the race. I had a similar issue last year the week of RnR San Diego. It was a random case of runner's knee but after it was drained, all was well!

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    1. Random was right! Any other week (in the grand scheme of my life) would have been a better time for the random bursitis to make an appearance LOL

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  6. Gosh, I've never experienced bursitis. Amazing that you could get it treated right away and then do so well at Grandma's! You've got mad chalk art skills too - so fun!

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    1. Ha! My mad chalk art keeps me young ;-)

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  7. So glad that whatever was going on with your knee turned out to be ok. Scary! Congrats on another good race!

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    1. I had a small bursitis issue many years ago (but in the other knee), and it was gone with a day or two (and never returned). This totally caught me off guard because I had nothing happen leading up to the flare....totally weird!

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  8. Glad to hear that things turned out ok with your knee and you guys had fun at the race!

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  9. I'm going to sit on my hands and not say a word about your knee. I'm just going to hope that what happened is one and done....we've got plans, after all.....

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    1. I had a tiny incident in my other knee many years ago (7 or 8 yrs. ago?), so this totally came from out of nowhere. Thankfully, all appears well, and I had ZERO issues with it in Duluth ;-)

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  10. Dang girl, you really know how to make a taper week interesting! :)
    I'm so glad that all went well with the knee and it didn't cause you any issues at Grandma's! And as to FOMO, you were causing some of us bloggers to suffer from it as well...such fun that you met up with a couple of the girls! Can't wait to read all the details!

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    1. What can I say? I like to live on the edge.....

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  11. Wow that is a stressful way to get ready for your race! Im glad it all worked out and you were able to run!

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    1. Tell me about it LOL I had a small knee bursitis flare several years ago, but in the other knee. This totally came up with no warning.

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  12. Wow what a scare with that knee so close to marathon day! So glad it all worked out for you. What causes bursitis?? Can't wait for your race recap!

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    1. I don't know exactly...probably just stress/strain (or trauma) to that particular joint? People also get bursitis in their elbows and shoulders (or so I've heard). I'm just thankful I didn't wait around to let it clear up on its own or that it wasn't more serious. Crazy!

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  13. I'm so glad the knee didn't give you any problems at Grandma's!! I love meeting bloggers and can't wait to finally meet you in LV. I have a few cold shoulder tops. They are a fun summer choice.

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  14. You are one fast healer. Glad you were able to run Grandma's!! Now what??

    And yes I love those kind of shirts. Wore one yesterday.

    Can't wait to see you stylin in the flesh - Vegas, baby!!

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  15. Sure hope that knee continues to feel good and that you were able to enjoy your race and have fun with your friends.

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  16. Wow! Talk about your knee giving you quite a scare so close to race day! Glad it calmed down and you got to run the race. Congrats! Look forward to the race recap!

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  17. Glad you got your knee sorted out before your run! Sounds like your race went well,looking forward to the recap!

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  18. Wow. Just wow. How scary. I embrace tapers, too -- even just for a half! -- but that could not have been fun. Glad it turned out ok. I think you win the prize for "phantom" taper pains, LOL!

    Obviously, I've met some blogger friends.

    As far as I know I don't have any bursitis, although my hip bothers me just a tad now & again. Haven't figured out what that one's about yet. Can't wait to read all y'all's recaps!

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  19. Yikes do you know what caused your knee pain? Good to hear the swelling went down and you still ran Grandma's. It sounds like it was a fun time for many of the runners in this group.

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  20. WOW! That was kind of nerve wracking I would say, so how was the knee after the marathon? You still feeling good? I drove to Panama City Beach from here and that is a 7+ hour drive - a little rough after a long run, right?

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  21. Wow, I am so happy your knee got better. Glad you were able to run the marathon, cant wait to read the recap.

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  22. Wow, what a scare during race week! I'm so glad that the steroids worked and that you were able to still run the marathon as planned. I can't wait to read the recap!

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  23. Eeeek that would terrify me, having the dr remove fluids. So glad that you recovered quickly and weren't in much pain. Congrats on running the marathon! Exciting!

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  24. I'm glad your knee felt better and that you recovered in time! Great read!

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