I’ve started reading a book called “Mind Gym” in an effort to prepare myself for the marathon next week. Mostly, I feel in a good (enough) headspace. I worked a lot on my race anxiety this year by racing Garmin-blind and racing fairly often.
I also have kept one eye on the 2016 Boston Marathon registrations. Right now, it looks like the cutoff for those qualifying was even tougher this year since by the time they got to the “squeakers” (those who beat their qualifying times by less than 5 minutes), they had 3,000 fewer spots still left than last year. What this means to me is that I need to do better than just barely qualify if I want a spot in 2017. But no pressure.
I can’t help but think of how — I don’t know if I should say ironic or fitting — it is that I am running the Wineglass Marathon as my goal race this year. Wine was my chosen poison, and on October 25, it will be 10 years since I admitted myself to rehab for alcoholism. I have been trying to visualize that Wineglass medal in my hands. The “medal” has been a melted down wine bottle. A part of me really needs to qualify for the Boston Marathon at this race. But even if something goes wrong, I think having fun at it will be even more important.
One thing I’ve been under a bit of stress about for the last few months was some questionable results from some blood tests I had done as part of my annual physical. I’m diligent about these doctor visits because I was warned that my liver might have some scarring as a result of my excessive drinking. I was in pretty bad shape by the time I dragged myself into rehab — the head physician there said I wouldn’t have lasted much longer.
My liver function has been fine, but the last couple years my parathyroid hormone levels have been low. The problem with this is that it affects the levels of calcium, magnesium and phosphorus in the blood, which in turn affects the bones. As in osteoporosis. In general, as a 45 year old lady, that’s not great news. As a runner, I had “stress fractures” buzzing in my head.
On the one hand, I felt like if I had even early osteoporosis, I would’ve had some sort of stress fracture or reaction by now with all the pounding my training has put on my skeletal system. On the other, I’m freaking out because it seems like parathyroidism is usually caused by some sort of surgical damage, which I’ve never had surgery in that area, and so the cause of my parathyroidism seems like a big question mark. It’s probably hereditary, I suppose. But it bugs me. It especially bugs me that the parathyroid itself can’t be treated — all you can do is treat the symptoms, which basically means calcium and magnesium supplements.
Anyway, further blood tests continue to show low parathyroid, but my calcium, magnesium and phosphorus levels are fine. My doctor also ordered a bone scan, and it took almost four weeks to get these results, so I’ve been pretty anxious. When I got the note yesterday that the results were back, I almost was going to put off opening it until after my race in the event it was bad news.
My nerves won out, and the good news is that my bones are normal. Freak out abated.
It’s hard to not worry about the long term damage I might’ve done to my body. But in a way, I’m glad for this concern because it’s what I bring up when the nasty little voice in my head tries to tell me that it would be so nice to have a glass of wine, to just unwind. I like being healthy. Whatever temporary relief my drinking provided was short lived because it would be enjoyable for a day or two before I would spiral out of control. I didn’t like being a slave to my addictions. So, whatever happens race day, it will be a testament to how far I’ve come.
I’ll be wearing these Hoka One One beauties for race day. The model is called “Odyssey”. I think it suits my journey.