Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Injury, Illness and WDW Dopey Challenge Wednesday January 4th 2017

Pretty chipper for a 6 am flight!

Back on our cycling trip to Italy remember me falling off my bike not once but twice? Well I thought I was okay, but when I started running again something just wasnt right. My left leg has been sore off and on ever since the NYC marathon in 2014. I've done PT for it, and incorporated hip and glute strengthening exercises into my exercise routine but it still bothers me off and on. But this pain was different. When I ran in Lecce and again in Rome it felt somewhat painful but I thought I was just stiff from riding so much and not running for a week.  After our 10 hr flight home I tried running again. The next day I could barely get out of bed. I was in so much pain I could hardly move. 

This was very bad. My chiropractor said I had pinched a nerve in my back. I tried gentle stretching, ice, epsom salts and Motrin, but after a week I still couldn't run and I was still  in a lot of pain. 

So finally I went to my PC doc. She agreed with the chiropractor's diagnosis, told me no running for 10 more days, and she gave me drugs! It took a couple of days for the drugs to kick in, but one morning I woke up, cautiously swung my legs over the side of the bed and gingerly stood up. No pain! What a relief!

But I still couldn't run. I was water running at the local athletic club, which kept my running muscles active, but it was incredibly boring and I stopped as soon as I started running again.

I started running again very slowly with a lot of walking thrown in. it went pretty well. I needed to find the most walking I could do and still comfortably beat the time limit for the Dopey Challenge. Because yeah I was training for another marathon when this happened.

The Dopey Challenge is a little crazy. Four races in four days through the Walt Disney World parks. A 5k on Thursday, a 10k on Friday, a half marathon on Saturday and a full marathon on Sunday. 48.6 miles in 4 days. Before Italy my training was going well but now I was behind.

I managed to work my way back to a long run of 23 miles three weeks before the races. This would have to do. It was more important to not re-injure my leg or back and stay healthy, than put in a lot of miles.

So then it was Christmas. My kids came and it was wonderful having everyone there. On the second day of his visit Daniel started to come down with a cold. I tried to stay away from him but the day he left I started sneezing. Damn it Daniel!

I went into serious cold ministrations. Coldeze, Zinc, saline nasal rinse, Emergen-C, Robotussin, and lots and lots of rest. 

So here I am on the plane to Orlando, feeling rested and hopeful that this cold is almost over. I'm still congested but much better. I'm glad I don't have to run a marathon tomorrow, however! Hopefully by this weekend all my obstacles will behind me.

This has been the craziest marathon training cycle I've ever experienced. I guess I've been lucky up until now in my running journey, no serious injuries, no illness. But these things happen to runners even in the best of times so I must have been due.

I'm not at all worried about the first three races, but I can't help but be apprehensive about the marathon. Marathons are hard, that's just the way it is. Running a marathon after three other days of racing will be especially hard. Running a marathon with the vestiges of an injury and a lingering cold will be really really hard. All I want to do is finish all four races. The key will be taking my drugs, getting enough sleep, eating right, resting when needed. Wish me luck because I think this time I'm going to need it!


The above was written on the plane to Orlando. Once we arrived we followed the signs to Disney's Magical Express. Disney takes care of your luggage so there's no need to go to baggage claim. We find the right bus without too much trouble and Paula and I are delivered directly to our resort, Port Orleans Riverside. I think when we were here 24 years ago we stayed at Port Orleans French Quarter. Moderately priced for Disney, nice rooms. No bags yet but no matter. Off to the race expo we go!

There are massive hoards of people at the ESPN Wide World of Sports where the race expo is held. The first part, getting our bibs and t-shirts worked well but it was downhill from there. There is a long line to get into the expo itself and then a REALLY long line to get into the Disney store within the expo. Paula wants Disney apparel but I don't want to wait in that line. I figure 6 race shirts are enough! But Paula is disappointed...

We've paid for the VIP race retreat for the mornings before the half and the full, but can't figure out where we go to get our wrist bands and nobody else seems to know either. We keep asking and eventually find someone who knows someone who knows where to get them. Then for some reason, maybe because we only bought it a few days ago, we're not in their system. But they look us up and eventually all is well.
Back to the resort, my bag has arrived. I get myself unpacked and soon it's time to meet Amy and Bill for dinner. Because the races start so early Amy has made most of our dinner reservations for 4 pm and we are grateful. Tonight we eat at the Boatyard in Disney Springs, a shopping area. It's very cute, looks kind of like a New England oceanfront town. We meet at the open air bar and then head to our table.

Amy and Bill are Disney experts. They belong to the Vacation Club and know everything there is to know about Disney. When Paula and I decided to run Dopey they got right on it and have planned the most amazing time for us. They want us to love their favorite place on earth and they do a very very good job of convincing us!

After dinner we walk along the dock and admire the beautiful antique boats. Lee would love this part wouldn't he demands Amy? Yes he would, they are absolutely gorgeous.

I'm back at the hotel and in bed by 8 pm. I've got to be, awake up is at 3:15 tomorrow morning. 

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