I’m on day three after running the Icebox, the longest and most difficult run I’ve ever done. You can read about it here. After I finished I was tired and sore. My legs felt decidedly done. I was still walking. I kept walking because I knew that’s what you were supposed to do. Walking keeps blood flowing to the muscles and then you don’t “freeze in place.” I didn’t want to freeze in place, especially when it was really cold out.
When I got home from the race, I sunk into my favorite beat-up lazy boy recliner and scarfed down three bowls of hot chili that the hubby had so thoughtfully put in the crockpot before we left. Chili had never tasted so good. For some reason, husband and daughter thought the recipe wasn’t all that great but if I could have curled my toes in delight (which I couldn’t, they were too tired) from the sheer joy of eating this chili- I would have. It tasted that good.
After my chili, I was suddenly exhausted. Not the type of tired where you are sleepy and just go to bed, but literally BONE TIRED to the point of feeling kind of sick. I made my way gingerly up the stairs to bed, swallowed my seizure medication and promptly passed out. I didn’t actually sleep that well. I would go into some sort of deep sleep and then wake up with my legs bugging me. I’d wiggle them around (which didn’t feel very nice) and then pass out again…only to repeat it about an hour or so later.
Sunday morning. I made an attempt at getting out of bed. This was new. My quadriceps weren’t right. They were as tight as drums and felt as though I taken a hammer and beat them repeatedly. I walked funny. I hadn’t walked that funny since I gave birth to my daughter.
I went to go pee. When I tried to sit on the toilet I couldn’t figure out how to sit down. OUCH. I ended up just kind of falling, stiff-legged onto the seat. There was a repeat performance as I tried to get UP. Now it was time to go downstairs. I stood at the top of the staircase for quite some time just staring down. I carefully took a step forward. NO. I stepped back. I went sideways. Better. One step at a time. Sideways. On the left. My right leg was failing entirely. What the hell?
Through the day there was a series of swearing, using the Target shopping cart as a walker, clearing out the house of anything edible (I didn’t know my stomach could hold that much!), whining that walking shouldn’t be so hard and discovering that stairs were everywhere- EVERYWHERE. I also became a little concerned that while my left leg was just stiff and sore, my right leg was actually giving out- as in literally just failing to the point I would fall sideways randomly.
My alarm went off for work on Monday. Things were a “little” better. I knew what to expect when I got out of bed and was a little more careful. I lowered myself onto the toilet like a pro and walked stiff legged like a champ. I side-stepped down the stairs and one-at-a-timed up them when needed. My right leg was still giving out on me frequently and I was worried about the constant walking I needed to do at work and the long walk home.
I’ve been frequently injured so pulled out my bag of “fixes.” You know, the stuff that lets a runner keep running even when they have a trouble spot? I have a big bag. I dug through and sure enough, there were a few different types of thigh wraps in there, one from a blown hamstring and one from a mild tear to the quadricep. Perfect. I grabbed the McDavid thigh wrap and tightened around my right thigh and marveled at the difference. My leg was working again.
I made it through work, still walking funny and quite stiff. When it was time to leave I realized I had messed up. I usually do a slow run across campus to catch my bus. This day would be different as I was doing more of a slow, stiff, funny-looking walk to catch my bus. I needed more time and didn’t allot for it. UGH. I hit the ground “running.” Yep, I “ran” to catch my bus because I had to. I put ran in quotes over and over again because this was a run that made it look like I was making fun of runners. It was a painful, stiff legged, shuffle as quickly as I could to not have to stand in the cold for an hour waiting for the next bus. I did drop multiple swear words and get many odd looks. I hope no-one got it on video.
How slow was this shuffle? My bus pulled in as I was about a block away from it. I got tears in my eyes. I swore and attempted to stiff-run faster. OUCH. DAMNIT. OUCH.
Luckily, I take this bus every day and am literally the last person off the bus. I also frequently fall asleep on the bus and the bus driver has to wake me up and tell me to get off the bus so he can go (I’m the last stop on the route). The driver recognized me…and pulled over. He also laughed at me but I took it because I got a ride home. Sheer relief.
The walk home was slow. And cold. And stiff.
Then we get to today. Something magic happened today. I woke up and carefully stepped out of bed. Wait…my legs felt good. I could bend at the knees. I went to the bathroom and slowly sat. I’m pretty sure I yelped with joy! SUCCESS ON THE TOILET. I sat to pee with my quadriceps not yelling at me. On to the stairs to see if this was real life or just a dream.
Holy what?! One stair…two stairs…three stairs- My legs were functioning again! They were alive! I turned around and went up the stairs. SAME! I walked fast. I walked slow. There was fatigue. Ok, take it easy…not all the way alive but no pain.
Now I’m at work. I rewrapped my right thigh to be safe. Many who know me know this is my bastard leg. It’s always given me problems. When I have seizures they affect my right side harshly. I had a seizure two days before Icebox and my right leg was still affected the morning of Icebox. I’ll never let the seizures take away my running so I may just always have a bastard leg and a bag of fixes. The awesome thing is, with the thigh wrap, it’s functioning exactly the same as the left leg.
Funny enough I’ve had no stiffness or pain in my calves or feet from this race. It seems my quads, hamstrings and ass muscles took the brunt of icebox.
There you have it though…I’ll let you know if I can run again after my attempt at a slow run tomorrow. Today, I rest and eat one more day.
This post has been brought to you by my bag of fixes.