Endorphins… ahhhh.

I think I cursed myself in my last post last week, talking about how excited I was to get in my 7-mile run on Friday. I have no idea what happened, but a mile and a half from home my right knee started hurting. A LOT. Like, I could hardly put pressure on it hurting, and then I got shooting pain all up through my right leg from my toes to my hip joint. I have no idea what a pinched nerve feels like, but that’s what I imagine it would feel like – basically, I had to slow down to a hobble. It looked really, really dumb, and felt ten times worse than dumb. I should have walked the rest of the way, but I was wearing shorts and my legs were freezing (could that have had something to do with it? My joints do not like being exposed to the cold…) and I wanted to get home as soon as possible. So I hitch-strode the rest of the way, and felt sort of okay by the time I got in. (I’m stupidly proud of the fact that I still managed a 10:47/mile pace on this, my slow run, after having had to slow down so much to cripple-jog my way through the last 1.5.) After a lot of ice and rest, I felt much better, but I was wary of skiing the next day – what on earth was I thinking, putting my knees under that much stress?

As it turns out, it was nothing to worry about: after applying plenty of ice after the skiing, my knees were fine. The skiing was amazing, if a little bit freezing (you know, wind chill of -10 and all), and it was so excellent to get out of town for a couple of days out of the reach of cell phone service and hang out with people and get in some quality snow-romping. I so much miss being able to get to the mountain every weekend, but it’s my hope that I can budget properly next season, given that I’ll at least know how much I’ll have to set aside for medicine and whatnots.

Speaking of which, do you want to play the guess-how-much-the-medication-costs game? OK, then: the hydrocortifoam that I’m on comes in a 15-gram-net-weight container, which probably means that it’s 14-grams’-worth-of-canister and 1-gram’s-worth-of-foam. Even so, the entire tiny apparatus (the thing is about five inches tall) costs $331. That’s $22/gram, which I’ve not yet calculated per foam squirt, though I’m not really sure I want to. $331. That is absurd. Thankfully, again, I have health insurance so I pay literally a fraction of the cost at $30/container, but that’s only for a 15-day supply; a whole month’s worth is twice that at $60. Which is $662 if I don’t have insurance. Who the hell can afford that in this economy?

While I’m braining-on about medicine, I’m starting to not feel so enthusiastic about the corticosteroid treatment. Yes, its side effects are far less disruptive than those of my first medicine, but there’s a reason that these steroids aren’t intended for long-term use. Maybe I’m not eating enough to begin with, but I’m hungry all the bleeping time, and more often than not I feel as-big-as-a-whale bloated. I can also feel my moods shifting in ways that aren’t hormonal, though the last one I had – on Monday and Tuesday morning – could have also been related to taking a couple of days off to rest my legs after skiing. I’m afraid that I’m becoming that person who gets exercise withdrawal; I used to laugh at the idea that people could get so into it that if they don’t do it, they start feeling symptoms like those drug addicts can feel. But maybe there’s something there, because under this training program I’ve not gone more than two days without some form of exercise, and on the morning of day three – Tuesday – I was in the worst possible mood. Monday had been bad enough, but I figured some sleep would knock it out. Wrong! Tuesday dawned and I spent a good part of the morning fighting back tears for what seemed to be no reason. I already had a 3-mile run scheduled, so I kept telling myself, it’s only a couple of hours until you get to the gym. You’ll be okay. And on its face, that sounds insane, right? Like, I have to calm myself with an exercise fix? I BLAME THE DRUGS, DARNIT. (I’m kidding… sort of.) My next doctor’s appointment is in two weeks, so I’ll definitely be talking to my GI lady about all of this.

Anyway, I did get to my 3-mile run, and it was fantastic because I turned it into an anger-run: as in, let me just get all of this emotional stress out of my system one stride (and one rep of the weights I lifted later) at a time. I finished at a 9:37/mile pace for the 3 miles, which is well off my race pace but still respectable and left me feeling pretty well tuckered out. When I finished, the endorphins I’d been waiting on were humming along, and I started to feel normal again.

My mood broke for good when I got downstairs to the weight room and found myself sharing space with a guy who was doing his best to lift weights – and check himself out – in time to the music of LMFAO’s “Sexy and I Know It”. He looked so ridiculous that I couldn’t help leaving the room to actually burst into laughter. 99.99% of the time I will not pay a lick of attention to anyone else at the gym, but you’d understand my voyeurism if you saw how outrageously this guy was showboating. I feel the need to thank him for helping me break through my bad mood for good, but I’m not entirely sure he’d take my view of him as a compliment.

So that was that for the bad times; my running buddy had a day off yesterday, so we did a 4-miler together at a nice, slow 11:00/mile pace. I felt like I had a lot left in the tank when we finished, which was nice, so today’s 3-miler might be another quick one (closer to 9:15/mile maybe?), or it might be a slow and jaunty one depending on how I feel. Saturday’s long run will be the 8-miler, for which I will wear pants for sure. I’ve been thinking of trying out part of the half-marathon course just to get a change of scenery; I’m not tired per se of the routes I already run, but I think that mixing it up a bit wouldn’t be a bad thing. Also, ice… lots and lots of ice for my knees after the fact.

Onward into the tail end of the week!



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