9:45am came quickly today. Dr. Katz was quite excited to hear I didn't have any more bleeding since last week. Actually high fived me. Said he was pretty much "stumped" anyway! No TB, and no other tests are necessary unless there is microscopic blood cells in my urine sample I gave them this morning. Meaning if they find anything in my urine I can't run yet...LUCKILY I'm clear as day. So I don't have to go back until a 3 month check up or if something else happens. Dr. Katz even gave me his mobile number in the event something else happens. He "thinks" it was a case of "runners hematuria" but cannot be sure. Either way I was cleared to exercise again!
I made it to the Paradise Valley Community College after work and hit up the track there. I don't remember running on a track in the last 15 years. Seriously. So this was pretty much a new experience for me and I think I'm hooked. The track is so much softer than a road and the laps come sooner than you expect. Starting out today I went pretty slow not knowing how my body was going to react. I probably did the first mile in 7 minutes, I just couldn't help it. I evened it out after that and did 4+ miles in about 34 minutes or so (didn't have my watch). I felt really good having run at the end but definately was a little behind on the conditioning. It was only 2 weeks away but I feel like my body took a beating through the entire situation. Either way I'm excited to be back in it.
I also have been reading Chi Running, a random purchase at the Half Priced Bookstore. it's pretty interesting in how your form and the common misconceptions of the running world that has led to a lot of the injuries in the field. I feel like I'm already running a little softer, a little smoother and with a little more balance. Not sure that is going to change any results come race days.
Tomorrow morning is my last meeting hopefully with my doctor. I feel I'm almost putting too much on this one meeting when he could just tell me I have TB or some other random issue that will continue to keep me off the trail. Tomorrow is 15 days without running, exercise or anything at all and my body can definately tell. I'm feeling a lot weaker now than I did in May when I had a torn ligament and couldn't run because of that issue.
Following the Dailymile.com and seeing other people's runs helps stay motivated. Hopefully it's just a short holdup. Either way I'm going to work with my running gear and I'm going to cross my fingers just in case I get the "ok".
I'm also trying to plan out a 50 mile route in the Superstition Wilderness for this December for a new Trail Run. The Superstitions are some of the most beautiful areas of Arizona and the USA. I love the rugged ridges, and absoluteness of each crevasse, turn in the trail and the neverending cactus riddled, snake filled cracks in the trail. It'll be a very challenging route for sure. I'm excited to see where it takes me.
Thursday at 9:45am is hopefully my FINAL doctors appointment and when I can get clearance to start running again! Assuming I don't have tuberculosis (which I really hope I don't have) I should be ok as my primary doctor already said it was dependent on what the specialist says. I've been thinking about training nonstop and getting back into the running with more of a methodical approach versus my usual "just go out and run until I have to be done" approach. I really want to incorporate more speed work and put in some interval work, Yasso 800's and Mile repeats at the local track at Paradise Valley Community College. Really looking forward to just getting outside and burning some calories. I've gained 10 full pounds since my last run on August 11th. 10. Really? Geesh.
Ashville, North Carolina has the highest peak n the state with Mount Mitchell. March 27th they have a rugged ultra there of 40 miles winding its way up the top of the mountain. 2010 had MASSIVE ice on the trail, sub zero temperatures. Awesome. Plus, I've always wanted to go to Asheville. Seriously.
I seriously would be. If I was rich I wouldn't be working and would just travel around doing race after adventure after hike. New places, new people, new experiences. Plus think of all the t-shirts you could collect?!!
Think about this race in White Sands New Mexico each February. 26.2 miles of a "march" across the high desert with a 35 pound pack on. You can do a solo or as a 5 person team where each of the team members have to finish within 20 seconds of each other. 35 pounds is no joke. Having done many a road marches in my day in the Army I'm mildy intriqued at doing it. It's a driveable race and certainly is well worth the trip as it's a tribute to the original Bataan Death march during WWII in the Phillipines. A lot of military guys do this race and when they do it's to the full specs of their uniform. www.bataanmarch.com
I'm currently 8 days into the Disabled List. Not that I'm on a team or anything but since last Tuesday I've been having some serious medical issues. Mainly, blood in my urine. I have yet to have been diagnosed by anyone to know the cause. Last Monday night I ran a hard run in the Phoenix Mountains. I ran shirtless for the first time that night on a run where I wanted to really up my intensity from my normal runs. Reading so many articles on intervals, Yasso 800's, and just seeing what other friends are doing for their workouts on dailymile I don't think I have been having as "fast" a workout as I should be having several times a week. My workout routine is typically this:
1) Figure out how I can make time to run 4 times this week
2) Figure out how I can make due with only 3 runs this week.
3) Run as long as I can with no particular goal or objective before I have to turn around and get home.
So last Monday I went out with a goal of not letting the heat get to me and to push it really hard and really go after the hills. And I did. I ran a hard 5 miles and ran hard up all the hills, the heat was there but not a factor for the first time all summer and I got back to my truck feeling great and like I'm headed right where I want to be.
Then I woke up to pee a coca-cola can. Mildly disturbed at the sight I brush it off and guzzle Nalgene after Nalgene at work until it cleared up by the afternoon when I would have soccer game that night. I felt a little sluggish at the game where we were embarrassed and the next morning more coca-cola. This time a little worse and a little more concerned. Ran again that morning with WMRC group and all that day the urine got worse and worse. More and more brown and then by Thursday morning it was just blood. Blood. Not the most reassuring sight. So that evening I finally caved to my incredibly intelligent girlfriend and went to the Urgent Care. Had a few tests done and a kidney stone was the probable issue at that point. The Dr. wanted me to get a CT scan to make sure and gave me a script for a scan the next day.
Instead of the $250 deductible and 20% of total cost for the CT scan I opted for a vist with my primary doctor, Dr. Vafa Matin. Dr. Matin is a great guy and I've been seeing him for three years now for a variety of sports related injuries. Very old school Dr. who doesn't waste your time with lots of tests and just gives it to you straight. Plus he's a runner. +5 points. Dr. Matin sent me for blood work as his first thought was maybe I had gotten Rhabdomyolysis from running in the heat.
Rhabdomyolysis (Rhabdo for shot), after extensive frantic research on the dreadful internet over the weekend, is a fairly common medical issue that can be caused by a variety of ways. Earthquakes, car accidents, hard drug use, Lipitol and other prescribed drugs, and excessive or sudden streneous exercise by the fit or unfit. Researching Rhabdo you'll come across CrossFit cases where people were hospitalized with Rhabdo from their first CrossFit routines, or P90X routines or high school training camps. Rhabdo is the rapid deteration of the skeletal muscles into the bloodstream. This can send toxins into your kidneys which can block your passage ways. Rhabdo has a mortality rate of 5% but can lead to Acute Renal Failure (think kidney dialsis, end of running career, and 20% moratlity rate). You have to be on an IV with aggressive fluid replacement plans as well as attempts to equalize your PH balance and electrolyte balance. It's nasty stuff.
So I got the blood work done that Friday afternoon and went home on the directive that I needed to drink water and electrolyes and flush out the toxins so they cannot attach to the kidneys or the walls themselves. I drank 3 gallons of fluid on Friday, 2.5 on Saturda and Sunday each. I never really slept because I was so paranoid my kidneys were going to fail if I wasn't peeing. So I was always drinking. My Nalgene was my friend.
Throughout the weekend my lower back slowly started to get stiffer and sore. Having done nothing to have this soreness I was concerned. Especially since it was in my lower and middle of my back. More concerning was it was high enough on my back that the pain could be coming from my kidneys. So I called Dr. Matin's office and tried to bump up my appointment but they couldn't do it. That evening my psuedo cousin Josh from Alaska talked me into it and given he's a male nurse at the hospital in Anchorage and I respect his no nonsense opinion I actually wen to the ER. It was ten pm and my back was throbbing and I felt like my kidneys were meling from the inside and I was convinced that the longer I delayed the more permanent damage the rhabdo (as I had talked myself into the fact I had Rhabdo after the 89th article on Rhabdo I read on the net) would cause. I was a sliver away from, "I'm never going to run again, I'm going to be on dialisis forever, I'm going to lose my testicles." Every possibly scenario on the internet was racing through my mind coupled with every person I know saying, "OMG, You have to go to the hospital right now!!!" Yeah....I get it.
I naturally drove out of my way to get to the ER at the Shea hospital in Scottsdale. Go where the rich, white people live. They don't mess around and actually care if you are sick. I've been to the downtown ER's in Phoenix. You're just a number there and it's a freaking mad house. So I racially and financially profiled to get the best care. Unfortunately that's how capitalism works and I was right. They were awesome, got me right in (wealthly people are healthier than poor people. Therefore less people waiting for care. That's just fact) The Dr. was amazing and probably one of the nicest doctors I've ever met. She had me do three CT scans, with contrast and without, using a fluid they put in my IV to show my internal organs. Interesting experience to say the least. Had multiple blood samples taken for testing and another urinalysis. Within an hour the Dr. returned and I had the results. No cancer (didn't know that was even a concern...but good news), no tumors, no cysts, no kidney damage, no Rhabdo, no kidney stones, all blood is perfect, no bacteria or infection in the urine or blood. So there is nothing wrong with me? No, I'm still stuck with urine in my blood and constant back pain. On to the urologist.
As I was in the ER until 3am I didn't go to work the following day so naturally everyone thought I was dead. I wasn't supposed to go to work for two days and I held that up for about 5 hours until I went in for a couple hours to work.
That takes us to today and my visit to the urologist. Let's just say it was interesting and somewhat violating. The procedures themselves were not unexpected but still, not something I'd ever get used to. So I am in excellent shape, blood is great, organs are great and my prostate is in tip-top shape. So what's next?
That would be a scope. And not a scope done on your knee. The newest medical theory is that I have a rupture in the bladder caused by the stress of running or some other undertermined condition. Or a popule or some other "thing" that could have created a bleeding issue. In order to do this they need to insert....nevermind. So hopefully tomorrow I will know more. One of his last comments was, "Can you please not run until we know more. Or exercise?" Super.
I'm really excited for this race. It's one of the many races I've stumbled across one my many hours of wondering through the world wide web looking for some new adventure. It's a team relay similar to the Ragnar Relay series but much smaller (less than 100 teams in GMR vs. the 350 that were in Ragnar del Sol) and it's in VERMONT!! Even better is that it starts in Jeffersonville, VT, home of my Uncle Walt and Aunt Sharlee and ends in Bennington, Vermont where my Dad lives. It follows scenic State Route 100 all the way down to Bennington passing Ben & Jerry's, Killington Ski Resort, Middlebury, VT, and dozens and dozens of beautiful Vermont towns. I brought up the idea to my family in Alaska to run the relay as a family team and surprisingly it was very well received. Everyone was totally PUMPED for the race! So we already have all 12 people for the race and the two drivers committed. June next year we are there! I even started a website in my undying devotion to getting the family together whenever possible. http://www.louriedomination.blogspot.com