Today was a great day to run! The weather was perfect; 50 degrees, clear, with a gentle breeze. The sky was an incredible blue. I ran from my house, to the Whitman Mission, and back. In the picture above, you can see the memorial site. It sits on top of a fairly steep hill. I ran the hill without stopping. The view from the top is awesome! The entire distance is 9 miles. My pace was comfortable and I experienced the wonderful “runner’s high.” The best part: no migraine. I didn’t struggle much with overstimulation problems. It was a quiet morning when I ran. I had some problems going past the private air strip. A hobby plane was taking off. The engine noise caused some dizziness. I stumbled on a rock but managed to keep my balance. No injury. I felt a bit queasy after that. I needed a two hour nap after the run. But, it was a smooth, enjoyable workout. My run time was 1:27:50.
I haven’t had a run like that in a long time. I experimented with my hydration today. I usually drink water on runs under 10 miles. Today, I used CytoMax. I think the extra calories and carbohydrates helped. Since the head injury, I don’t feel hunger. I’m also more sensitive to changes in hydration and blood sugar. It requires me to be aware of my food and liquid intake much more than I had been in the past. This had positive impact on my dietary habits. I know that I drink more water and less caffeine. I am also more aware of what I eat and when. The half marathon is a little under two months away. I have not yet run that distance. Usually, for a half, my long run during training would be at least 18 miles. My long run now is 10, with a high price. My goal for the race is to finish. I am not worried at all about my time or place. It has been an interesting journey, learning what my body can do now, after the accident. In several ways, I became a different person. I process information slower than before. I also struggle with chronic migraines and stamina problems. I need daily naps. Recently, I increased my work hours. I tried to work a full day on Mondays. Unfortunately, about 2-3pm, my mind crashes. I start getting headaches, physical and mental fatigue. My processing time slows more, I become even more easily distracted, and I get downright irritable. The last three weeks, I have gone home after my full day, exhausted and in pain. I took a short nap, forcing myself awake after an hour so I could sleep at night. Monday nights were miserable. Tomorrow, I’ll speak to my supervisor about cutting my Monday hours back to getting off at 2:30. It’s ironic that a former marathon runner struggles with stamina issues. Mental stamina is a different ballgame. It is difficult for me to run. It tires me out like never before. However, I love running still. I get a sense of connection and peace that is so often missing in my life. Meditation brings much of the same feelings but not the health benefits of a good run! So many life problems were solved while pounding pavement or running a trail. This is something I am not willing to quit. I may adjust my goals, but my feet will continue to hit the streets! I am working with a friend on a t-shirt design for the race. My shirt will be a technical running shirt. My support team’s will be cotton. The shirt will have a green and gold ribbon on the front, with TBI Survivor, 4/25/11. On the back will be a design using a drawing of dogwood and Traumatic Brain Injury Survivor. Never Quit. My support team’s shirts will say “Traumatic Brain Injury Awareness.” Or support. Not sure which. It should be a cool shirt. Days until Missoula Half Marathon: 58