I attempted my first 50-miler in July. It was along the Tahoe Rim Trail in California. I wouldn't say that I "trained" as much as I "prepared". Meaning that I didn't follow a specific plan outlining certain mileage targets every week. Instead, I aimed to complete a few key workouts during the couple months leading up to the event. Namely, I wanted to do a day-long run-walk, and I also wanted to stack some long runs on back-to-back-to-back days. And I managed to accomplish both of those to a certain degree of satisfaction. Another Tahoe runner and myself did a 9-hour run-walk on some trail and dirt roads around White Rock Mountain, which turned out to be perfect because it gave us some long uphill climbs and descents. I also tried to hit the 50-mile target during a 3-day weekend once or twice, and I got a few of those under my belt. The event itself was stunning, challenging, and invigorating. I have realized that I should probably create a separate race report page. I find myself wanting to tell the longer story of events, primarily for my own benefit so that I can remember the journey. But I realize that most people don't want to hear about tripping, puking, cramping, etc. Look for it in the future.
I had a bit of an upset stomach between miles 30-45, and was doing alot of walking in those miles, but surprisingly, felt better in the last 5 miles or so, and was able to run fairly decently on in. I was a little on the slow side, but was primarily happy just to finish. It's not often that I'm entirely happy simply with a finish, so I'm savoring that self-forgiveness before my next big effort, whatever that is. I spent the next week bopping around San Francisco with my brother and best friend, splurging on sushi, Giants games, and Athleta summer clearance sales.
So take an eager vacation-goer, add a condo full of athletic friends and energy products, too little sleep, a 14-hour run, and an ensuing week-long party in San Francisco... and you have the makings for an epic round of bronchitis. I came down with it on vacation at the end of July, and am still coughing up the last dredges of it in mid-October. Ugh. Over the years, prolonged respiratory infections have seemed to be the biggest side effect of Methotrexate/Arava. If I get so much as a cold, it will develop into full-blown bronchitis/sinus infection/whatever other maladies travel back and forth between sinuses and lungs. And it lasts for months. But finally, finally, I seemed to have pulled out of it. I basically missed the months of August and September... spotty work attendance, sporadic and light exercise, limited social engagements (who wants to sit next to the bald girl clutching a hanky and coughing uncontrollably?). I was worried for a few weeks there about lung damage or involvement, but so far I think I've escaped that scariness.
So here goes! I'm ready to live again. I would like to do the Memphis marathon again this December, and have started training for that. I found out over the summer that my Arava dosage was low (10 mgs). Pleasant surprise there, I'm not sure why I didn't know that I had been on a beginner's dose this whole time. In an effort to get lower than 8 mgs of Prednisone, we are bumping the Arava up to 20 mgs/day and decreasing the Prednisone by 1 mg per month. I haven't had a flare since last summer, but since then my CPK has been up and down, and in general, a bit unpredictable.
Changing the subject, thank you for reading. In general, when I don't post very often, it means that I have gotten preoccupied with other ups and downs of daily life. I find myself not knowing what to say, other than that I am often flattered to think that I can be a voice of reference or empathy. I think that reaching out to others is one of the best things that we can do.