Disclaimer: I received a free entry to Garmin Kansas City Half Marathon to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!
This year has been full of twists and turns in all of our lives living through a pandemic — but I have also had some personal battles.
Not only have these battles influenced my motivation to stay active, but living through a pandemic has modified my fall race plans as well.
Let’s dive in!
As I have talked about before [scroll down in these posts for New for 2020 and Health Update], I dealt with some pretty major joint pain towards the beginning of this year. In June, I asked to have an “inflammatory panel” added to my routine blood work testing for my thyroid disease. The test came back “positive” but doesn’t give any information about why my inflammatory markers are so high. Then was the the 3 week wait see a rheumatologist, followed by more testing and an additional 3-4 week wait for results. As of late August, I was diagnosed with seronegative rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and started a treatment plan shortly after.
I am still learning everyday, but now I know that RA is the body’s immune system attacking its own tissues, including joints. My worst pain areas are my legs (feet, ankles, knees, and hips — in order of worst to not as bad) and wrists (x-rays show early signs of arthritic changes). During the height of my pain, during what I would consider to be a “flair up” of the disease, pain in my neck, back, and shoulders would even keep me up through the night.
My treatment plan involves taking methotrexate (MTX) and Folic Acid as a starting point to see how my body tolerates the medication. The MTX will suppress my immune system (yeah…not the best plan during a pandemic, but we are making it work) so it stops attacking my joints and the Folic Acid to help alleviate some of the side effects of the MTX. RA symptoms and medication success rate is different for every case — so staying positive while trusting the process is important.
Since my RA diagnosis, I had not seen any dramatic improvement in my symptoms since starting treatment. As of last week, my treatment dosage of MTX was increased to see if my body will continue to tolerate the medication and hopefully start to reduce my pain/inflammation levels. Since increasing my dosage, I have started to have less pain in the morning — so crossing all my fingers and toes that we have found a viable solution!
As of now, I am in week 15 of my training plan for the Kansas City Half Marathon. The time has sure flown by!
Many moons ago, I decided to use the Garmin Coach feature on my Garmin Connect App to set up my training plan for the Garmin Kansas City Half Marathon — seemed fitting, don’t you think? I was able to customize the training plan by putting in :
- current weekly mileage — not much when I started due to the RA pain the previous months
- running pace — is “snail” a valid metric?
- race goal — run with a time goal or completion (I choose the latter)
- choice of running coach — with the amount of training weeks and workouts in mind (Greg McMillan or Jeff Galloway; addition of Amy Parkerson-Mitchell since I started my previous plan)
- set the days you are available to train — everyday
- choose your long run day — usually Sunday for me as I have care for the littles later in the day
- set event date — which I kept as October 17th even though the event was changed to virtual
My plan set me up with 3 days of running each week — a stride repeat workout on Wednesday, a progression run on Friday, and my long run on Sunday. Every few weeks, there would be an easy “recovery” week built in so I wasn’t burning myself out on the workouts. Overall, I have been very happy with the training plan — but I am not positive I am set up for the most successful half marathon.
Yes, I set up my plan to simply “complete” the distance — but my longest “long run” was a solid 8 miles. So I guess only time will tell!
KC Marathon + Million Mile Challenge
So the last 15 weeks have lead to this weekend!
Due to the pandemic, the team at the Kansas City Marathon HQ stated a few contingencies back in March just in case of an in-person race cancellation.
- Modify your registration to the Million Miles Challenge (more on this later this week)
- Donate your registration fee to the Greater Kansas City Sports Commission and Foundation (and receive a 25% discount on 2021 KCM event)
- Defer registration to 2021 KCM event
As a BibRave Pro, I am running my Kansas City Half Marathon later this week, picking up my swag this weekend at the Drive Through Finishers Fest, and then continuing to log my miles for the Million Mile Challenge. I will elaborate on the Million Mile Challenge in the next day or so…stay tuned!
How has the pandemic affected your race calendar?
How did your training week go?
What are you training for?