Monday, July 15, 2013

I'm Back and Ready For More Races! PART 1

Hi there! I can't believe it has been three months since my last post. It has been an adventure for me, folks! I have learned a ton about recovering from injuries and doing everything it takes to learn how to heal properly. I should have gone to another podiatrist but quite frankly I didn't have the money. Instead, I prayed a ton and searched the internet, and asked the advice of fellow injured runners. But I am pretty sure you do not want to hear that part of my adventures. So, we will start with the beginning of my adventure with The Expedition Everest Challenge at Animal Kingdom in Orlando, Florida  back in May.

My teammate and fellow Princess Leah plus
my great friend and her daughter. I am
the one hanging onto the back of the plane.
This was my most challenging race I have ever competed in. Not because I didn't have my head in the race but because I had no feeling in my entire left leg for a good portion of the race! Everything started out fine. In fact, it was a really cool beginning. That day was the unofficial Star Wars Day at Hollywood Studios. Way off in the distance we could see the fireworks for it as we stood in our corrals waiting for the anthem to be played. Then, as the trumpeter played, I started quietly singing the anthem to myself. I am sure I wasn't the only one because soon the people around me joined in and then everyone was singing. I have no idea how the trumpeter felt but it was an awesome moment for all of us. And then we were off.

God bless my sweet friend who was running with me. She had no idea what was happening towards the 1 1/2 mile mark in the race. I think she maybe thought I was tired. On the contrary! I was running great (for me) and was happy. But then my toes began to go numb. By the time we hit the hay bales my entire foot went numb. By the time we hit the entrance to Animal Kingdom my ENTIRE leg was numb...and a bit painful. I started walking and trying to stretch. I tried shaking my foot. I tried loosening my laces. I tried pushing through it and running. That part was painful. Have you ever tried running on a numb leg? Weirdest sensation because it hurts and it is numb at the same time. So, I finally started praying hard. "Please help me figure out what to do to relieve this, Father. Or take it away." Over and over again. 

Meanwhile, my poor teammate was encouraging me and telling me to run. I seriously just couldn't do it. By this time we were at the tire obstacle. Thank goodness there was a huge backup. First time I didn't mind a crowd in a race, ha-ha! I took that time to try to stretch again thinking perhaps it would un-pinch whatever pinched nerve was pinched (try saying that five times fast!). What did I feel? Nothing. Then it was my turn to go through. High knees! High knees! Suddenly, I felt the numbness begin to drain away. Like a cartoon it drained from the top of my leg and out of my toes. Sweet, sweet relief! That's when the thank you prayer began!

A hard earned medal!
From that point on I was able to kind of run. The earlier pain had exhausted me and the numbness kept trying to come back. Whenever I felt it starting again I started doing high knees. I know I looked like an idiot, but hey, it worked! The scavenger part was a little better. Overall the race was fun but disappointing at the same time. I was thankful that my prayer was heard, that the scavenger portion was fun, and that I got to stay and ride some rides until I was too frozen to continue. It was a really nice night temperature wise but the water from the rapids ride was like ice! We left to go back to the hotel shortly after.

And that is when my quest to figure out numbness avoidance began...


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