Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The long winter

February 5.  The 3rd snow day in a row for those of us in education.  I don't mind it, but it throws havoc into my syllabus. 

I'm gearing up to lead a pace group again in the Little Rock marathon.  I was sick last year, and it killed me to miss it.  I feel a sense of responsibility on this one.  Every other time, I'm running for myself; and even if I've built the event up a bit, the only person that it ultimately affects is me.  The pacing gig is much more externally focused.  I am expected to enhance the race experience of hundreds of participants, and the pressure is exhilarating!  Any little pain or any break in training makes me hope and pray that I'm not going off the rails at the 20-mile mark.  I'm so looking forward to it. 

That said, my pesky left IT band let me run through the fall, building up to some decent mileage, although I'm nowhere near the kind of shape I have been in for previous seasons.  I ran the 25K ascent up White Rock mountain last weekend, and I'm afraid to say that my IT has been a little sore since.  It was fun to throw caution to the wind and hammer away at those hills without having to turn around, but now I'm holding my breath a little. 

White Rock 2014 start. I ran the ascent in 2:30. 

It's been a cold winter, too.  We've had quite a bit of pesky frozen precip that keeps refreshing itself with a fresh glaze of ice every morning.  (so it seems).  With the sore IT, it's just as well.  I'm going to say that my training is in the bank, and a little bit of an extended taper will probably be ok. 

Snow run at agri park Feb 2.  5 inches!

Nothing new on the PM front, although I had a bone scan to celebrate 5 years of being on Prednisone with no break (except a brief one that sent me into a flare a couple of years ago).  I was confident, but it came back on the borderline low side of normal.  I immediately went out and bought calcium chews, even though I have pretty good nutrition and do plenty of weight-bearing exercise.  On the other hand, my liver continues to flirt with the borderline high side of normal.  Hm.  I always feel like I'm squeaking just under my doctor's approval threshold.  I'm still on Arava, which still seems to be working.  I switched over from Methotrexate a few years ago after a series of flares that indicated a decreased effectiveness.  So far, I have not had a flare on Arava, although I have small fluctuations in my CPK every so often. 

I've been curious about digestive enzymes lately.  I don't think I've blogged this, but about a year ago I started taking probiotics, and it has made a difference in my hair growth.  I have a two-thirds head of baby-quality hair... not enough to look normal, but a definite difference between the alopecia totalis that I have had for so long.  I have been considering enzymes as the next step in approaching autoimmune disease from a digestive system angle.  I'll keep you posted...