Friday, August 26, 2011

And then he stuck a big needle in it

I've ramped up my mileage in training for my upcoming marathons. This cycle I've run quite a few 15-16 milers and a couple of 18 milers hoping not to hit a wall at 20. We'll see tomorrow, when I run said 20. Since this could be my first hot run of the summer (and how did that happen??) I'll have a good measure of where my fitness is for Fox Cities Marathon.

I'm gratified and confused that an August 27th run is the first hot run of the year. Normally that happens in March or April. While we've had a couple of spells of a few days of heat, none have been on long-run scheduled weekends (or indeed, on weekends at all). I'm not particularly looking forward to sweltering but since September in Wisconsin could be hot (and hey, these days October in Maine could be hot) I'd like to get a long hot run under my belt.

Not under my shoes though. A couple of weeks ago I noticed a lump on top of my foot after a run. I figured my shoes must have been too tight and didn't worry about it. Then I noticed that it got worse for a while, then better, then worse. Then I realized that it wasn't really changing at all, it was just big. Wiser minds than I determined that I should go see our friendly neighborhood sports podiatrist so I made an appointment. Imagine my disappointment when the lump didn't go away, even after making an appointment. Since the only time the lump causes pain is when I wear shoes, and because I'm wearing sandals unless I'm running or at the gym, it was mostly a curiosity rather than an impairment. Unless, of course, I was running.

So I went to see the doc today. After poking, prodding and an ultrasound he said it was probably a ganglion cyst and we could drain it and hope it would go away. Okey dokey, draining sounded good to me. In theory. In practice he took a needle the size of the Space Needle with a syringe the size of a large silo and started poking around inside the cyst, guided by ultrasound. He dragged the tip of that needle up and down inside the cyst and urgh, TMI at this point. Anydoodle, there wasn't any fluid being extracted so he pulled out the needle and just started to squeeeeeeze the cyst. That sounds much more painful that it actually was, the squeezing didn't hurt at all (probably because my foot was so relieved to not have the needle in it). Not much came out then either.

The hope is that it'll drain and flatten over the next 5-7 days, go away, and never bother me again. That's unlikely to happen. He said he wouldn't want to drain it more than a couple of times, and if it reoccurs would recommend removing it just to see what it is. That would involve a little incision, a couple of stitches. No big deal, right? Wrong, it would involve no running for 3 weeks. Yikes! I have too many races to take 3 weeks off! I'm going to believe in fairy tales and believe that the cyst will go away. Quickly and without any worry from me. Right?

For my long run tomorrow I'll just use some felt to cushion the cyst area from my shoe and everything should be fine. I'm very much looking forward to this run, sore foot and high heat notwithstanding. Every long run is a challenge, every long run proves once again that although I might not look like it, I am in fact a runner.

Have any of you had ganglion cysts? Anyone had it flattened by the family bible? Anyone grossed out by hearing about this?

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Hey, look behind you! It's July!

I've misplaced a month, have any of you seen it? Two months, or even three. One minute I'm enjoying April and the next I realize I'm dating things "August." Zip zip zip and summer is gone without even starting.

Yes, I'm going to first whine about the lack of summer weather around these here parts. While the rest of the country is baking, sweltering, melting under the heat of a hundred hot boiling flames, we've been dressing in jeans and sweatshirts. We don' need no steenkin' sandals here! Nobody has to worry about their summer wardrobe fitting because they have to cover it up under a couple of warmer layers. Yoohoo, summer? Over here! I'm waiting for you!

I'll probably pay for that plea later in the month when I go to run 18-20 miles and it's 97 polluted sunny degrees instead of the 57 we've been running in. Fine! Bring it!

During the past month I upped my trainer workouts to thrice weekly. Probably just so I'd have a chance to say "thrice." Mondays at 7am, Tuesdays and Thursdays at 6am. We're still doing a lot of TRX which I'm still enjoying. Today I set the goal of a set of real, non-girly pushups by summer's end. I can almost, sorta do 1 sloppy real push-up now. I can do 3 sets of nice looking, good form girly pushups. Katie reminded me that it's August and summer is almost over. Nuh uh, can't prove it by me. Pushups by summer's end. And apparently I'll decide by then whether or not to hyphenate "push-up."

For the most part Bree and I have continued running, or run-walking, once a week around Lake Chabot. A little over-doing it impacted a knee on each of us and we decided that bombing hills wasn't the smartest idea when our training schedules have us running long on the weekend. We're taking it easier there but finding that hill work definitely has it's benefits (strength and endurance) to go with it's negatives (swollen painful knees). The Lake has been lovely to run around in the early evening and it's almost lost all of it's negative connotations from my first run there way back in 2001.

Knitting continues apace. I've been working on several separate projects. My attention span could be better. I'll knit for a few days on a scarf, then on a shawl, then on another shawl, then another scarf. Nothing seems to be getting toward completion. The lace class we were scheduled to take was canceled, of course after we had bought the yarn for it (yes, I bought yarn for it even though I had 2 other perfect yarns in the stash I could have used. What's your point?). So Ann and I intend to get together weekly and figure it out ourselves. In the fall, when it's quieter. Meanwhile I'm hoping to finish a scarf or two.

I ran one of my favorite local races a couple of days ago, the second half of the San Francisco Marathon. I may even get around to doing a race report one of these days. Like past years I enjoyed the race, not so much the finish area mess. They change that part every year and so far, last year was best (in my opinion of course, yours may vary).

I've been reading a lot, which is one reason my knitting is suffering. Still haven't figured out a way to get quality reading and quality knitting done at the same time. I'm not much for audio-books since I like seeing the written word. I'm having enough trouble adjusting to a Kindle instead of paper. And adjusting to being able to buy all the books in a series at a single button push. Or several other books by the same author. Ooopsie, now I have even more to read!

What have you been up to? How's your summer going? What are you knitting? What are you reading? Hot enough for ya?