He got shot … and still finished!

I think everyone has that one fear about death. Maybe you had a bad dream about drowning or you had a close call with a stranger in an alley at one point in your life but I believe everyone has that one fear of dying their most horrible death. For me, it’s being shot in the head.

I know, I know, not a good blog topic but stick with me. You see when I was a kid I had a dream that I got shot in the head by an intruder and I’ve had the dream on multiple occasions as an adult. Even though, in my dream I realize the pain is not really bad, it’s the fear of it actually happening that scares me. And that’s why bullet man is one of the most amazing people I have ever heard about.

Dennis Rainer was a 26 year old in 1978 and he really wanted to qualify for the Boston Marathon so he ran the old Grand Rapids Marathon in Michigan. About 10 miles into the race he entered a rural area when suddenly he was knocked forward and almost hit the ground. He checked himself out and thought he was fine so he continued on.

Dennis Rainer

This is Dennis at the 2015 Ironman, (yes, he’s an Ironman too!)

Once he finished the race, he grabbed a hotdog and checked him time, 3:09, not a qualifying time. Disappointed but worried about the near fall earlier in the race he did the smart thing and headed off to the doctor. That’s when the doctor figured out what had happened and informed Dennis he’d been shot in the head!

You can watch the video below to hear the entire story.  (You really do want to watch this!)

The worst pain I ever ran through was a migraine. Dennis is the marathon boss in my book.

What’s the worst pain you ever ran through?

Puzzle piece number two, a mineral, no really.

Late last year I went to a new doctor and had my thyroid medicine switched from synthetic to natural.  It has helped me immensely but not as much as adding one little mineral to my daily routine has.

The doctor and I talked about my daily routine, how much I work, how much I exercise, how much stress is in my life and then she did some blood work.  She noticed, as I always have, that my calcium tends to run on the higher side.  It’s not too high but it’s in the upper limit and it always is.

She then explained to me that having a higher calcium level means that your magnesium is probably low.

yeah obviouslyExcept it wasn’t obvious to me because no one ever mentioned it to me before.  She suggested that I take a magnesium supplement daily and then she explained why.

Most of us do not get enough magnesium from our foods but we get too much calcium because it is added to our dairy products, dairy alternatives, processed foods, and sometimes orange juice!  When your calcium levels become high, magnesium levels can fall. And you can have a whole host of issues if you are deficient in magnesium, such as anxiety and depression, muscle spasms and cramps, high blood pressure, calcification of the arteries, low energy, problems sleeping and it even affects your bone health.

give me the magnesiumSo, I was like, give me all the magnesium!

For my age my body needs 320MG of Magnesium daily so the doctor suggested I take a supplement which provides 250MG daily via two pills because magnesium is found in some foods and you don’t want to take too much.  Then you could have issues related to too much magnesium, (like diarrhea).  The key is balance.

She did however suggest that if I had a day when I binge on sweets or on days when I do a long run I should take one additional pill which would mean taking 375MG for that day.  The reason is because sugar depletes magnesium and also there have been some studies that show that magnesium supplementation has helped patients who suffer from migraine headaches.  I was skeptical but I started taking the magnesium as she instructed.

skeptical

OMG, it worked!

Guess what?  Yep, I was able to run long without migraines.  And if I was unsure whether or not the magnesium had anything to do with it, I got my answer a few weeks ago.

When the kid was in town we were really busy going to the cabin and to the other house and I was trying to stay on top of work so that I could spend all my time with him and I got lax with my medications and especially my magnesium.  I didn’t take it for almost a week.

That Saturday when I ran 12 miles, I got a hellacious migraine and the only thing I could attribute it to was magnesium. I started taking it again and the next few weeks I ran 13.1 and 15.25 miles with no migraines.

If you are curious about how much magnesium you need or the symptoms caused by the lack of it, the NIH has a great article here.

That was the second piece of the puzzle in helping me run headache free and so far it’s been working.

Do you take any supplements?

What and why?

A low key weekend with 21 miles

This weekend was extremely low key.  Because Hank had surgery on Thursday we were worried he would be in pain and we wanted to keep him as comfortable as possible so we stayed home and didn’t really leave the house at all.  Well, I didn’t.

I work from home and realistically I could stay in my pajamas for days and it wouldn’t bother me a bit but once I realize that I can’t leave for whatever reason, I get stir crazy.

I can't leave!

For the most part MacGyver and I took turns watching Hank.  I watched him when MacGyver needed to work on the lawn tractor and he watched him in the mornings so that I could run.  It worked out pretty well.

Surprisingly, Hank hasn’t lost his appetite at all, he’s been eating regularly since he came home but he doesn’t really want to drink so I’m giving him water with a syringe.  I think he secretly likes it because truth be told, he might be a bit spoiled.

dog with bottle

Not that spoiled, yet.

On Sunday I asked MacGyver to watch Hank for a bit longer because I wanted to cut the grass and weed eat the lawn.  As much as he hated to, he said ‘sure, no problem.’  I know it killed him inside though.   I could tell every time I passed by the front door and saw him lying there on the sofa watching TV.   (Surely you detected the sarcasm there right?)  Because we haven’t mowed our lawn since before Christmas…

high grass

Don’t worry babe, this shouldn’t take long.

Actually it really shouldn’t have taken more than an hour or two.  I got the grass cut in 45 minutes but unfortunately it took me 3 hours just to weed eat the grass because our weed eater is a MacGyver special and it kept shutting off.

weed eater special

I am not even kidding you, we have a weed eater head just like this…

MacGyver can fix anything so all of our equipment is either souped up or modified and that’s why I had to blow in a hose every few minutes and then stick my finger over it to keep the weed eater from stalling.

 

I kid, I kid, that’s how I keep my ATV from stalling  (Not kidding.).  I’m pretty sure at least one person out there knows what I’m talking about, perhaps Mrs. Inspector Gadget, AKA my sister in law.  She gets it.

But let’s get back to the weekend, shall we?  I ran 13.1 miles on Saturday morning.  I did not have another hydration fail and even though I was home with Hank all day, I got a ton of cleaning done around the house.  The most important thing to tell you though is that I did not get a migraine after that long run.  Not even a slight headache.   Except for the one I got last week, that’s about 3 months of long runs without migraines and my longest run during that time is 15 miles so I’m extremely happy about it.

migraines

I am really looking forward to sharing with you this week a few changes that I made  back in November.  In doing so I’ve been able to do continually increase my long runs and prevent the migraines that I had become accustomed to getting afterward.  I’m going to share the first of those things that I changed tomorrow and then more during the week so I hope you come back to read.  Maybe some of them might work for you.

On Sunday, I wasn’t really sure how many miles I was going to run.  We were playing everything by ear because of Hank but MacGyver told me to run as long as I wanted to so I ran 8 miles.  It was a beautiful morning here and I enjoyed every single minute of it.  I love the weather we had this weekend.  It’s was in the low to mid-sixties in the morning and the low eighties by the afternoon.  It was absolutely perfect.  It won’t last though, summer will be here before we know it.  Hopefully by the time it does, I’ll be acclimated.

Last week I ran 38.5 miles and walked 2 miles.  I ran 5 days and my longest run was 13.1 miles.  My strength training this week was yard work and believe me, it counts.

Hank is getting his drain removed this morning so I’m off to the vet.

How was your weekend?

Did you run?