Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Spontaneously Exploding Achilles Tendon

Yep, that's right -- I'm on prednisone again!  I think (really really really really hope) that the reason I've felt so lousy over the past several weeks is a wicked sinus infection.  I'm so used to having sinus problems (and lately so busy) that I tend to not really pay attention to the symptoms until it gets to the point where I bend over at the waist and it feels like my head is going to pop off from the pressure.  Finally today I called my allergist and lucked out that he had a lunch hour appointment.  I like my allergist, he's always cracking me up.  He was asking about stress in my life and after I confirmed that work was pretty crazy I also added that I'm training for two marathons.  He immediately says "you know the first marathon runner died, right?"  Yes, I have heard that one before.

So it's a short round of antibiotics and prednisone.  Prednisone has one of the most amusing side effects I've ever seen:  your Achilles tendon can spontaneously explode.  Not necessarily while you're running or anything.  You can be a complete couch muffin and still have it happen.  Of course, it's not the actual exploding part that amuses me; it's that somewhere there was a study done of a bunch of people whose Achilles tendons exploded and they narrowed down the cause to prednisone.  It's also not like the number one side effect or anything; it's one of those "in rare cases...." side effects. 

I've forgotten most of the Shamrock race by now, but here's my race report.  It all started the day before at packet pickup.  When, incidentally, I was accidentally taking Ambien in the mornings.  To my dismay, some how my registration for the race never went through and I ended up in the "please please please let me run this" line.  They took pity on me and let me sign up for the race even though it was officially sold out. 

Saturday night I had a lovely carb loading dinner at The Old Spaghetti Factory with Jules and the Little Fruit Fly and her potential (at the time, now he's official) new boyfriend Biker Boy.  I hadn't eaten all day (and I was coming off of the Ambien) so the cheese bread and crab ravioli were extra yummy. 

Sunday, it was raining.  It was cold.  It was wet.  Soon I was cold and I was wet.  I met up with Jules and found the Little Fruit Fly and we huddled under the bridge with 30,000+ other racers to wait for the start of the race.  They started the other races then we joined the pack for the 15K start.  It took us ten minutes to get to the start from the gun. 

Then it was uphill for about five miles.  In the cold.  And the wet.  Did I mention it was raining?  The rain was lighter than from earlier that morning, but 9.3 miles in the rain will still get you wet.  Since my only blister has come from running in wet shoes, I had been sure to use BodyGlide and it did its job, no blisters.  My feet were thoroughly wet and squishy by the time I was finished but with my SmartWool socks my feet stayed at least nice and warm.  I finished in 2:17:02 according to my Garmin Big Red, which was exactly my chip time.

As a side note, I just realized my Garmin has been in my car's glove box all week.  Which explains why I didn't have any data on my last run. 

The Fruit Fly had brought us shamrock necklaces and head bobbers, here's us in all our glory after the race:

The medals were again bottle top openers, this year they were gold in the shape of a pilsner.  The tech tees were really nice, this year they had long sleeved shirts in white.  I'm probaby going to wear it to work tomorrow.  Because I can.

I have to add this.  I've been a long time fan of the Fruit Fly's blog and have always been envious of how photogenic she is.  Part of that is because she's really pretty, but I found out at Shamrock that part of it is that she has this pose that snaps into place as soon as someone raises a camera.  Point in fact, I pulled out my camera after the race and turned it on to check that the wet hadn't damaged it.  As soon as I had it up near my face, pointing in her direction but not intending to take a picture, she immediately -- and I mean immediately -- went into this pose:

I had to take the picture just because it was so perfect!!  I wish I could figure out how to pose for the camera, all my pictures are usually some variation of "don't take my picture, I always look horrible!"  I'm so jealous.

This past Sunday, Jules and I planned to redeem our Shamrock performance by doing a 15K without the hills or the rain.  Unfortunately, we did not plan on a freezing headwind for the first 4.5 miles!  Seriously, at points it was like we were mimes, running into the wind but not getting anywhere.  We both had legs of lead and while we did do nine miles we walked most of it.  A shorter distance, but it took longer.  That wind, though, it was a killer.  When it stopped blowing, it was the perfect weather for a run. 

Well, I can feel the drugs doing their thing; I'm rapidly losing what little energy I had left today.  I plan to take the weekend off; I can't keep up with this pace without some sort of a break.  It's starting to look like I might take a week off in April before the next big push starts.  I'm hoping by Friday the drugs will have done enough magic that I'll be up for a run, at least get some mileage in this week.  And of course Sunday is the Sunday Run Club.  We have eight miles on the agenda, and if the weather is decent we'll try for a run along the Columbia.  But if there's any hint of a headwind, we are outta there!

the CilleyGirl


  1. Here's hoping you heal up quickly! That Shamrock run was wet, cold, hilly and just not the best conditions! Love the picture of Rhonda! So funny...she has an awesome picture pose! And it was a great day at the zoo. Lots of people without kids. :)

  2. Body Glide is an essential part of my running gear. Congrats on a good race and getting out there in the crappy weather. I think we had the same stuff up in Seattle and it was miserable. Not as bas as when it was snowing on St. Pat's race day two years ago but close!

  3. She does take a great picture. lol. My friend is like that as well and she can take pics of both of us at the same time and she always looks like a supermodel. You are the second runner to mention the tendon thing. Adam mentioned an antibiotic that has that warning:
    This has me on high alert now!

  4. I am seriously laughing so hard right now - but muffling it for fear that my co-workers might think I'm not a total bitch after all. I was telling my mom how you were laughing because I have my photo pose ... but she notices it, too. She always notices how my legs are involved as well. Here's why ... I'm bow-legged. I didn't know that until after I got home from Hawaii and saw the pictures. So now I make a conscious effort to stand so that it doesn't show -- which I can clearly see I am doing in the group photo!

    I tried to do 10 miles in that same wind on Sunday. It was CRAZY!! I almost didn't even get out of the car. I was freezing before I even started. I am happy I warmed up and got used to it, but gee whiz! At least this last weekend was dry - unlike the Shamrock!

    I'm so glad your Achilles Tendon didn't explode! I totally thought it did before reading your post!

  5. Ooooo does that mean we're doing Vancouver waterfront.....? :-)

    Please add me to the list of people who are very glad your Achilles didn't spontaneously explode. That would put a serious damper on the marathon plans.

  6. I really liked this line - Sunday, it was raining. It was cold. It was wet. Soon I was cold and I was wet. Despite the weather it sounds like you 3 had a great time.

  7. It was really fun. I just wish it hadn't been quite such miserable conditions so that we all could've spent some more time together. Instead, we beelined back to our respective cars. I ended up changing into all dry clothes and shoes in the back of my car in the parking garage and I was still so cold!