What a long week this has been. I am truly thankful to be on this end of it now. Just one week ago I had finished my weekly long run and was preparing for the upcoming week of training. How quickly things can change… I was truly humbled this week and learned many new life lessons. Not sure the best way to navigate this post so bear with me!
Sunday evening as I was reading to the kids at bedtime (8:45-ish) my stomach started cramping on my right side. It felt like a really bad side stitch only I had not run at all that day and it wouldn’t stop. It wasn’t extremely painful- just annoying and I honestly figured it would be gone after a good nights sleep. It wasn’t.
Monday morning (Labor Day) I woke up with the same constant side stitch feeling so I decided to go to the Urgent Care clinic since the doctor’s office was closed. I wasn’t sure if it was my appendix or what but the only time it didn’t hurt was when I was laying flat on my back. After an exam at the clinic they took an X-ray but there was no diagnosis. They told me they would schedule me for a gall bladder ultrasound since the pain was right under my right ribcage but wouldn’t be able to do that until the doctors office opened. I really hoped that when I went to bed Monday night I would wake up and it would be gone.
Tuesday I went to my doctors office (my regular doctor was out of town so I saw his on call doctor). My blood was drawn and the lab results came back fine. By Tuesday afternoon I was starting to feel a little better. The constant side stitch was weakening and getting lighter. By that evening I felt almost back to normal. I told John I thought I should cancel the gall bladder ultrasound that was scheduled for the morning. But my doctor and John both thought I should go so I didn’t cancel it.
Wednesday I woke up and decided to try to go for a run. I hadn’t run since Saturday and I was going crazy in my mind thinking about losing another day of training. I ran on the treadmill because I really didn’t know if I would start and have to stop or how long I would make it if the side stitch came back. The first mile or two felt a little weird but then I really started to feel great. I ended up running 10 miles and on my way home I remembered I had the ultrasound scheduled for 9:30 that morning. I also remembered I wasn’t supposed to eat or drink anything after midnight the night before the ultrasound. While I remembered this I was just finishing a 16.9 oz water bottle I had guzzled down during and after the 10 miler. I hoped that I had sweat out most of it! Fortunately, I had not eaten anything yet and it was really hard not to eat something right when I got home.
The ultrasound was fine and they were able to get the images they needed although the ultrasound technician couldn’t discuss anything with me. I assumed everything was fine since I felt so much better. That night as I was walking into church the Urgent Care clinic called with the results of the ultrasound. They said my gall bladder looked fine but they noticed a lesion on my liver and recommended a CT scan or MRI. Of course this caught me WAY off guard. I immediately went to Web MD to look up the term and read that “Liver lesions could be anything from harmless cysts in the liver, to areas of cancer spreading from the colon or breast.”
Thursday my doctor reviewed my study and said it looked like a blood vessel abnormality called hemangioma. If this is what is was it would be benign but he recommended an MRI because of the recent pain on that side of my abdomen.
Friday morning was the MRI and the rest of the day seemed to move in slow motion. I was praying that mine was just a harmless cyst but I knew that whatever it was I was not the one in control. We were going to have to deal with it. Just before 5:00 I heard from my doctor that the MRI showed “benign hemangioma.” Very good news! My doctor then suggested that if the same symptoms return it could be gallbladder related so we will check into that. I sort of shut off listening at that moment because I was just so relieved to hear the words benign!
So very incredibly thankful to be in good health. I know I take that for granted 99.9% of the time and it is sad that it takes a little wake up call like this to remind me how blessed I am to be here and healthy- and to have four children and a husband who are also healthy.
This brings me to the 5K I ran this morning which seems so trivial next to the week I’ve had. Then I remembered that 100% of the proceeds from this race benefited the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital- which focuses on finding cures and saving children with pediatric cancer. So I guess you could say that it was a perfect race to end the week.
It was a very small race but my main goal was to feel good, do my best… and also break 19 minutes. I have run this course many times and have never broke 19 minutes on it. The last time I ran it (last September) I ran a 19:14.
|Pre-Race with my big girl|
I ran an easy 1.5 mi warm-up. As we were walking to the starting line Abi decided to give Anthony some pacing advice. He did not seem too concerned. He just looked at me and in all seriousness told Abi that he would just try to stay with me. Love that boy!! I love how simple life is to him. He knew I was racing this one but in his mind he had a shot. I love that about him! Soon. I know he will be right there with me in the blink of an eye.
Then it was time to line up and get moving!
Mile 1- 5:56
Mile 2- 6:02
Mile 3- 6:04
Mile 3.12- 0:36 (5:06 avg. pace)
Official Finish Time: 18:38 (6:01 avg.) / 1st overall
As soon as I finished I took about 30 seconds to catch my breath and reset my watch. Then I headed back to find the kids. My in-laws were also walking the course so I knew if the kids slowed down enough eventually they would run into nana and papa. I think when it comes to kids and racing you have to use your best judgement. Abi and Anthony have both run this 5K course before and Anthony knew that even if traffic was stopped he had to stop and look both ways every time he crossed the street. Abi ended up running a 27:45 and Anthony ran a 35:something. PR’s for them both. SO proud of those two!
After the race was a very short awards ceremony. Last year I won some Chilis cash (which John loved) but this year I won something even better– a gift certificate from a local photographer. Ok, so John may still have preferred the Chilis cash! Basically, the gift certificate includes a free sitting fee and $100 towards print purchases- a $200 value! I have never won something like this from a race and we will most definitely be taking advantage of this at some point this fall. Thank you, Taylor Howard Photography!
I decided to end the morning by running the long route home from the race on the trail (about 6 miles). John was going to take the kids to get donuts after a hard run race and he knew I wanted to get in a few more miles after a very off training week. It was very therapeutic run for me. The stress from the race was gone and I was truly at peace with everything. How many times in life do we feel this way? I know that I am constantly moving, thinking, planning. So many times when I run I am focusing on the workout or my next big race or my big sub 3 hour marathon plan. This time I didn’t think about any of that. All I could think about was the way God took care of me this week. I felt complete peace. No matter what happens this year or in ten years or thirty years- I know that He sees the big picture and has a perfect plan for me. I just need to get over myself and trust in Him.