Tuesday, December 9, 2014

NVM WEEK 4: Please bear with me as I attempt to explain this week.

...but forgive me if it comes across sounding less than coherent. All will be made clear in the fullness of time.

(Just kidding, it probably won't.)

~*~*~NVM WEEK 4 OF 16~*~*~

Grand Total: 37 miles

    * 18 easy
    * 4 goal marathon pace
    * 15 long
    * strength work most days, but mostly in smaller chunks

Monday: 6 easy

    My last run in Spokane. I didn't have a run scheduled but since I didn't do a long run the day before, would not get any other exercise that day, and our flight was on the later side, I decided to get a few miles in. Thankfully I learned from my 18F run the previous day & wore thicker socks & two pairs of gloves. Even so, and in spite of the lack of wind, it was definitely the toughest run of the trip & pretty much every half mile or so I was like, "Can I quit now? How about now? How about now?" Not pretty. But effing done.

    Also, my front left top big tooth had been bugging me for a few days, to the point where it was keeping me up at night. Not pain, really, just this bizarre, numb, super sensitive feeling, and I kept thinking I was hallucinating that it was jiggling around a little. (This is significant because when I was twelve, I almost knocked it out in a gymnastics accident, but the dentist had put it back & I hadn't had any trouble with it ever since.) It had started to feel better, though, so I was trying not to worry about it & hoping it would just go back to normal-feeling on its own.

Tuesday: 2 wu, 4 @ GMP, 2 cd 8 easy

    I've been scheduling my GMP miles for Tuesdays, but it was pouring ran & I am terrified & slipping & falling on concrete, so I decided to swap this workout with the easy 8 I had planned on Thursday. Still kind of freaked out about my tooth.

Wednesday: Strength work.

    No karate because I was having an insanely busy week at work, including a bunch of normal work, some contract work, and also prepping for a conference I was supposed to speak at Saturday morning in Monterey. Thanks to just being insanely busy and stressed and oh yeah still freaked out about my bizarro-feeling tooth, I pretty much only ate one meal that day & slept maybe four hours. GOOD TIMES.

Thursday: a.m. strength work / p.m. 2 wu, 4 @ GMP, 2 cd = 8 total

    Woke up feeling awful, because not enough sleep + tooth really, really starting to freak me out. I tried to be hard core & went to the gym before work anyway, but then became so panicked about my tooth that I a) could not eat and b) could not concentrate on work. So instead I went home and called every dentist on my insurance within a five-mile radius of my house to see if there was one who could see me, like, NOW. (My regular dentist was booked but also is in Redwood City near my office, and if I ended up needing to have some kind of horrible procedure done, I didn't want to have to worry about driving thirty miles.) After not too many tries I found one six blocks away who could see me at 3:30.

    Basically I was fine until the dentist came in & asked me what was going on & then I pretty much collapsed into a trembling, snotty, sobbing, hysterical mess in the dentist chair & frankly I'm kind of amazed he was able to make any sense of what I was even saying. (No way this could possibly have been related to the lack of sleep and food, NO NOT AT ALLLLL.)

    Basically, that.

    Long story short, he took some x-rays, poked around, & declared that the tooth was in fact dead. Cue more blubbering & shaking & general hysterics. Finally the dentist managed to reassure me that this is actually not THAT that big a deal as dental issues go and also not surprising given what I'd done to it 20 years ago. He said he felt pretty sure they could save the tooth, but on the other hand, he was like, "Yyyyyeah, you need to have a root canal, like, now."

    But not actually now, because it's the kind of thing they usually do by just giving you a shot in your mouth to numb the area & then drilling at it for an hour & a half or so, & in my hysterical panicked state, he didn't actually think I'd be calm enough to make the procedure safe. So instead, we scheduled it for 11:30 the next morning, & he gave me a prescriptions for Valium (to take the night before & a couple of hours before the RC) & for the sedative they'd give me immediately before.

    Thanks to all this, I had nothing to eat that day except half a cheese quesadilla. I knew I had time to eat or run but not both, so by way of compromise I ran only 8 miles with 4 at goal marathon pace instead of 9 with 5 at GMP & fully expected it to totally suck ass. Surprisingly, though, it wasn't that bad at all, & I did jump up from 2 x 2 @ GMP to doing all four in a row, & it actually didn't feel that hard (though GMP itself does still feel kind of hard).

    (Surely you didn't think I was going to skip the run? It's my tooth that was dead, not my feet. Who skips runs because of dead teeth?? Psssshhhh.)

    (No but not even joking, my first thought when he was like, "You need a root canal now" was, "I CAN'T have a root canal now, I have a FREAKING RUN to do.")

Friday: 6 easy Emergency root canal / be high all day (ie, "where the fun starts").

    I tried to explain to the dentist that I have tried to have medical procedures before where either ludicrous amounts of drugs were required to knock me out or the doctors actually could not manage to give me enough to knock me out, & maybe he should take that into consideration when deciding what/how much to prescribe of whatever it was he was going to give me. But he didn't listen & ultimately prescribed for me the lowest dosage of Valium there is (I think) & instructed me to take only 1 the night before and 1 two hours before the RC.

    I had never taken Valium or anything similar before, & my housemate described its effect as basically just making you not care about anything. "Essentially," he said, "it salted the fields in which I grow my f#@ks."

    Let the record show that I took my one Valium at 10pm, and by midnight, I was still possessed of many, many f#@ks. Also, I did not sleep because I was too busy panicking about the RC and feeling certain I would wake up in the morning with my tooth having fallen right out of my head. Trust me; many, many ugly, panicked f#@ks were given.

    Valium, what even is the point of you??

    Although he'd only told me to take one Valium before coming to the office, he'd actually prescribed two more, and because I am a woman of action I swallowed them both at 9:45 Friday morning. Also, because desperate times call for desperate measures, I had a shot of bourbon for good measure when by 11:00 I could still detect no change whatsoever in number or intensity of f#@ks given.

    Did I mention the hysteria

    Anticipating that I would get a run in after all this root canal business and then head to my office to finish prepping for my talk the next morning, I put on running clothes & then walked the six blocks to the dentist. By 11:30 I was once again in the chair desperately trying not to panic. The dentist had prescribed 3 pills of Triazolam which was meant to make me just kind of floppy & cooperative during the RC, but he'd told me he did not expect to need all 3. At this time I informed him that Valium was basically candy as far as I could tell and it did not seem that the additional bourbon had done much either.

    He said normally he gives people only one of the Triazolams, but to help him gauge, would I say I was the type of person who has like a glass of wine or two & feels a little buzzed. I informed him that I would say I was the type of person who has like a bottle of wine & feels a little buzzed. He gave me a tablet and a half.

    We waited like 30 minutes & when nothing happened, he made me put on dark sunglasses & gave me another half, and after 30 more minutes, finally gave me the entire last tablet. 15 minutes or so after that he said we really just had to get started, & hopefully it would start kicking in as they worked. This is when I started to whimper a little. Then he leaned me back and put a blindfold on me & started giving me shots in my mouth, at which time I whimpered more and louder.

    But after that, things were cool. I could pretty much hear everything but felt nothing except what felt like pieces of rubber being stretched over different parts of my mouth. Eventually the drugs did kick in because after what felt like 20-30 minutes, it was all done, & they were unblinding me & helping me up. I felt a bit wobbly but otherwise pretty normal.

    This is where things get entertaining. I remember getting into my housemate's car (since I was not allowed to walk home), but nothing after that until waking up in my living room in the dark three hours later, passed out on the couch, & suddenly remembering we were having dinner (my first meal of the day, mind) with friends at 7.

    (Later, I found out that during those missing hours, I apparently texted my family members relentlessly about potential Christmas gift ideas & what did they think about this/that/& the other thing until they politely were like, "Well, I've got to get going..." I also RSVP'd to a friend's birthday/holiday party invite on Facebook with an extremely earnest and enthusiastic message about how I would ONLY come if I could bring Christmas cookies to decorate, described in detail the cookie cutter sets I currently possessed, and explained in what ways I would be willing to expand my collection for this particular event. I also apparently sent Don the messages below:

    At that point I apparently got bored & wandered off.)

    Apparently I managed to dress myself appropriately & put on make-up like a normal person, but I don't actually remember anything between waking up & Don getting home at ~6:45 & telling him, "LOOK I AM READY FOR DINNER AND ALSO I FEEL COMPLETELY & TOTALLY NORMAL #ADULTING."

    As far as I remember, dinner was completely normal, I had completely normal conversations with friends & waitstaff, ordered wine competently, & ate my dinner like a normal person.

    As far as Don & my friends remember, that is not what happened.

    My friend K said that when we walked in, her first thought was "Holy shit, how did Angela get so drunk between work and now?? You guys could have cancelled!"

    Apparently I had a very entertaining conversation with the waitress around ordering my wine (a GREAT idea when you've got nothing in your stomach but Triazolam, obviously); I kind of remember not really understanding anything she was saying, but somehow this did not strike me as at all unusual & I was just kind of like, "Sure, bring me one of those whatever-you-saids." When my food came I told Don, "Oh, you got me brown! It's probably really good." Also, apparently multiple times in the middle of carrying on a normal conversation I would suddenly stop & stare off into space for a while, & when we left Don had to hold on to my arm so that I didn't go careening into other diners. I'm sure everyone in the restaurant thought I was absolutely shit-faced out-of-my-mind drunk.

    It was like this but with wine.

    I remember nothing at all after this, but Don said that when we got home I rang all the buzzers for the three units in our building before he could stop me, and although he kept reminding me I had to get up at five a.m. and drive to Monterey to give a talk (!) and should really go to bed, I insisted on playing around on the internet for a good hour instead.

Saturday: Total chaos.

    After leaving dinner, the next thing I remember is sitting bolt upright in bed at 4:30am with this horrible feeling that there was something important I was supposed to do. After establishing the day & time, I realized that I hadn't been able to do any of the prep work the day before that I'd been planning on (at least I was pretty sure), which meant I had to get up *right then* & drive to my office to get it all finished.

    Again, eating did not occur to me. (Probably because I'd kind of gotten out of the habit this week.)

    After an hour of frantic work at my office, I was on the road to Monterey by 8:00am. When I found myself nodding off at the wheel & also nearly out of gas, I stopped for a triple shot latte (FOOD WHO NEEDS FOOD) & filled up the tank. I exactly an hour before my presentation, which was exactly enough time to get myself checked in, find my co-presenter, locate our room, & get set up.

    Everything went fine & we got excellent reviews. Normally I would have stayed for the rest of the conference, but I had a busy day yet & instead headed straight home.

    I'd hoped I'd have time for a short run, given that I was pretty sure I hadn't run the day before (BUT HEY WHO KNOWS???), but all there was really time for was changing clothes, stuffing half a burrito in my face, & doing something not hideous to my hair before we had to leave to see this on the big screen for the first and probably last time ever.

    This movie pretty much defined my early grade school years.

    Don had never seen it, and I promised him if it came to San Francisco, I would take him.

    After that it was dinner, which took considerably longer than expected, and after that, heading home for yet ANOTHER costume change & then out to a fancy holiday party. (This is why I had to make my hair look non-hideous before the movie.)

    At 3:30am, I drank approximately a gallon of water, collapsed into bed, and passed right the eff out.

Sunday: 15 long

    Oh my god I slept for so long. SOOOO long.

    Knowing I had a 15 mile long run ahead of me & was most likely woefully carb depleted, I choked down a latte and as much oatmeal as I could stand, then headed out into the last remaining 2.5 hours of daylight, fully expecting that run to suck complete and total ass. And actually, it didn't. The first eight miles were pretty easy. Miles 9-11 were the worst, probably because they were relentless uphill going east back through Golden Gate Park and because having 5-6 miles left just mentally felt like a lot, but then once I hit 12 things felt easy again, probably because I was running downhill at that point and because 3 miles left just feels mentally easy.

    Shockingly, this ended up being one of the fastest and lowest heart rate runs I've done so far. Lately I've been experimenting with the train-low-race-high philosophy (actually, just "train low," I guess) as far as carbs go & not fueling at all on my long runs, which has been completely fine, & I'm not convinced that isn't why this run was about ten times easier & better than it really had any right to be.

    One of the iconic Ocean Beach windmills (always a sign of an actual long run!)

    Ocean Beach! Looking San Frantastic as always.

    After that, it was throw some laundry in, stuff a pizza down my face, go see a friend's play (awesome), try to catch up on yet more of the work I'd intended to do Friday, & hit the effing sack.

I don't want to pretend there is anything noble about this week or that it contains some kind of moral. But, actually, it *does* kind of make me want to say, look folks. Sometimes you just have to get shit done & you can't let things like work and hysteria and lack of food or sleep or dead teeth get in your way.

(Unicorn movies, tho. Sometimes you just have to see a unicorn movie and there's just nothing to be done about it.)


What am really saying, I think, is that I have spent the last couple of years really trying to train myself not to make excuses, ever, & to really, really recognize the difference between situations where I truly, actually cannot or should not do a planned run (because obviously those exist) and situations where I'm just letting my brain convince me that's the case. So, in that sense, I am pretty proud of myself for not wimping out this week, EVER. Because once you let a thing get in the way of a run, it's that much easier to let that thing get in the way the next time.

This coming week, I just want my damn life to go back to normal. Hopefully that's not too much to ask. :P


  1. Those text messages are gold.

  2. Oh my god, I laughed so much at this! Don's responses were HILARIOUS! (Clarification: I was not laughing at you and your tooth, because I also would have been so completely freaked out about a "dead tooth" and "root canal," even though one of my old running buddies does root canals for a living and is one of the nicest guys I've ever known.) You're a trooper, that's for sure!!

  3. 1. This is the most entertaining thing I've read all month! I almost literally blew snot all over my phone.
    2. I had a root canal and they didn't give me alk thr drgss. Sounds like I should have cried more.
    3. The Last Unicorn!!! <3 <3 <3

  4. 1. Oh god, your post had me in stitches.
    2. Have you considered setting a phone alarm to remind yourself to eat? (I don't know how you do it. My stomach is my alarm, all of the time, and it basically has to be fed every four or five hours.)
    3. Your week involved being out of your mind on drugs and then watching The Last Unicorn? This just reinforces my mental image of California... :)

  5. Funniest post evah! Glad to find your blog.

  6. That's hilarious. I am the exact opposite of you as far as benzodiazepines or any depressant. I got 2mg of Valium IV during surgery prep this year and passed out so completely that they couldn't rouse me with a sternum rub and had to delay surgery. I'm sure I was saying all kinds of incoherent, ludicrous things (and probably being an insufferable know-it-all and yacking on about medical stuff), but I don't remember it!

  7. Thank you so much for sharing this, I laughed harder than I've laughed in a while. Also, I'm *super* impressed that you didn't miss runs due to your tooth. I miss them for just about anything lately.

  8. Ha ha ha - those text messages! Looks like the tablets were pretty effective in the end.

  9. This is the best post ever! lol! Cheers to valium and bourbon!

  10. That's entertaining, though sorry you had to go through the experience!

  11. ALL THE LOLZ! Glad you survived last week and nailed that long run. Hoping this week has been a lot more normal! (though getting stuck on 80 was definitely NOT normal...)

  12. "you got me brown" is the moment I laughed so hard I cried.