After five months of little to no formal exercise, I took the plunge. Granted a small step, nothing for the record books, but still a step.
Last December I ran the Jackson 50/50 50k race, one of a number of races I’d wanted to do for a couple of years. That put me on the sidelines, the dreaded injured list, again. What did me in, I think, was this was only 6 weeks after running the Tecumseh Trail Marathon held in October. And, the week after the 50/50, I was at the Arthritis run/walk in Indianapolis jogging the 10k with Karol and from the 1st step I had pain in my right hip. The run/walk day itself was
That’s Teena with the blue tutu!
a huge success with my sister Teena awarded not only the Adult Honoree for the entire year leading up to the event, a huge honor with a PR tour, but was also awarded the Team Costume Award of which my extended family was a part!
In January, after realizing this pain wasn’t going away, I saw an orthopedic doctor who suggested a steroid injection in the hip to help clarify the issue. After some short treadmill runs will little to no discomfort I returned to the doctor. His opinion was I have the start of arthritis. I never felt the earth crash around me with that opinion, but I’ve noticed a general lack of enthusiasm towards formal exercise, with the exception of long hikes. Races have always been a motivating factor with my exercise, and since they might be out of the question now, then why exercise? Kinda like a shift in mindset. Instead, I’ve done heavy lifting in the backyard with retaining walls, plantings and general yard work with only the occasional thought of exercise.
Today though, I put myself on the treadmill with the fan pointed at me and managed to trot a mile. The only pain noticed was feeling like a lead weight with no lungs. After my “recovery” from the “event” I’m thinking of a comeback, slowly building a base. We’ll see after the next couple of runs if the hip pain returns. If it does, it just might be arthritis. If not, I’m good to go! Nothing ventured, nothing gained!
Grubb Trail Parking at left. Terrill Cemetery is the square north of the Terrill Ridge Trail label
What a nice chilly start to the day, and what better day than today for a trail run at Charles C Deam Wilderness Area a few minutes southeast of town. Karol and I hiked there last weekend and that inspired me to go back for a run and also to explore an old cemetery. This morning was so foggy, visibility, it seemed, only a few feet, but as I drove to Deam it all disappeared.
Only one car in the parking lot at the Grubb Ridge trailhead, so I probably wouldn’t see anyone out on the trail. The plan was to run counter-clockwise the Sycamore Trail, then explore the Terrill Cemetery, and complete the loop with the Axsom Trail. It was so silent, with only a time or two of Pileated Woodpeckers calling out. Within the first half-hour I was startled by an explosion of feathers probably 30 ft up in a tree. One by one, three turkeys flushed as I ran under the canopy, making me wish I had a video camera with me. Not too long till Thanksgiving!
This trail system is not as hilly as Pate Hollow, another favorite trail. I could keep a steady pace here, with the exception of playing photographer, and not get pummeled by ginormous hills. Many stream crossings were made easier because of little recent rain. The well marked Sycamore Trail, ended at Terrill Cemetery Road about a mile past the entry gate, so a quick jog to the end of that road and I was at the cemetery. Karol and I walked through here last weekend, we like to visit old and out of the way resting places. Since then, I did some research about a headstone we thought was quite curious; four of five young sisters all died the same year. I came across a poem written by a contemporary writer that explained this mystery. Wow, we think life can be hard in the 2000’s! I can’t imagine clearing those forested hills to grow crops, and then contend with health issues.
Axsom family cabin? Photo by Steve Skinner 2008
My adventure continued back out Terrill Ridge Road to the Axsom trail head to complete the circuit. I had hoped to find the remnants of the Axsom family cabin, but I never saw it. It’s must be well off the trail or gone by now. The last few miles were easy with the exception of climbing out of the hollow, the trail pretty much went straight up 300 ft in less than a mile. With 11.5 miles done there was nothing left to do but have a nice lunch in the middle of 50,000+ acres of solitude! I think I’ll go back real soon!
One of many established campsites
The 300ft hill!
A MESSAGE FROM TEENA:
SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT…I am a triathlete! And I have a medal to prove it. Via myteamtriumph.org, I completed the Door County Sprint Triathlon in Wisconsin on July 19th. Team Teena included Cpt. Teena (yours truly, and humbly), Athlete Angels Matt, Marc, and Kris, and Transition Angel Karol. I can say, “I swam, I biked, I ran, and it was exhilarating!” because my Athlete Angels provided their physical abilities to pull and push me along, and Transition Angel Karol helped me safely move from boat to cart and provided little things that mattered (like a helmet!).
For too many people, rheumatoid arthritis (RA) hits either suddenly or insidiously and is an unwanted and destructive lifelong partner. To tolerate it, people cling to hope and need the understanding and support from family and friends. I had to give up athletic enjoyments because of RA – no more biking, water skiing, playing basketball, etc., biking (noted twice because that was my favorite sport). So I thank myTeam Triumph, my angels, and my cheering family for bringing sports back that I can actually, physically participate in. So thrilling.
Look into arthritis.org for inspiring stories about life with arthritis, and please donate to help with medical research and public awareness. Thank you! – Teena. Anyone up for a triathlon?
If ever there was an event that was cool, it was myTeam Triumph which took place July 19 in Egg Harbor, Wisconsin. The organization partners with existing events and hosts their own events so people with physical and mental challenges can participate in sports that many of us take for granted.
This event partnered with the Door County Triathlon sprint on Saturday, which we did, and the 70.3 on Sunday. My brother Marc learned of this organization in Green Bay and proposed it to Teena, our sister with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA). Captain Teena, Marc, Kris, a colleague of Marc’s, me and my wife Karol, were Team Teena!
Since Marc and Kris live near the race site, they were able to practice the swim portion using the raft that would hold Teena. Teena, Karol and I had to wait til we were at the race site as we live in Indiana. The myTeam Triumph director Chris, graciously took time when we arrived to assemble the cart Teena would use and help us with fine tuning the fit. Comfort and safety were paramount. Kris would do the swim portion pulling the raft with a harness around her waist while Marc and I swam on the right and left of the raft.
At T1, Karol and other volunteers expertly and seamlessly transferred Teena from the raft to the cart for the bike portion of the event. Once the cart was attached to the rear drop-out of the bike frame we were on the road! Of course there was the riding crop that kept the pace up! Marc, Kris and I each pulled about a third of the total bike distance.
T2 had us rolling out at a good pace allowing us to give high fives to the crowd and shouts to other competitors. Again, we each took turns pushing the cart, this time though, no riding crop!
We were really glad to have had this opportunity to give Teena a day “in the saddle”! As I think back over the years, I don’t think I’ve seen Teena enjoy herself as much as she did this day (and I know she’s had some doozies too!). Many thanks to Chris, the myTeam Triumph Wisconsin Chapter race organizer for going out on a limb and starting this chapter, to Marc for proposing this event, and to Kris and Karol for their enthusiastic participation. It was a blast!
Today is race day! The Dances With Dirt 50K in Brown County State Park, BCSP, is being run right now as I write, so why aren’t I running instead of writing? It’s not because of the rain that started early morning filling the creeks and making the course muddy and slippery. It’s my darned glutes!
I’ve had tremendous fun ramping up the weekly mileage, adding long runs in the forests and parks in the area. Long runs in the hills, gaining insight as to race strategy and how to approach the monster hills of Brown County all increased my anticipation of what was to be a very challenging event. Until my longest and hilliest training run in BCSP a month ago. Twenty two miles, 3500ft of elevation gain and almost 5 hours of fun overcooked my right glutes, deep muscles and tendons. A week later I was limping in obvious pain and haven’t run since. Rats!
So it’s off to the doctor next week to find out why it’s not healing. Rolling, stretching and Ibuprofen have all failed my own attempts at rehab, so I guess it’s time to call in the experts. It’s also time to hit the pool and get ready for the Team Triumph Sprint Triathlon in Door County this July.
It’s also time for you, the reader, to sign the following Action Alert found on the Arthritis Foundation’s “May is Arthritis Month” notice. There are many good articles with pertinent information about arthritis. Please add your name in support of finding a cure!
Hot off the press from the Jingle Bell Run/Walk Shoestring E-Newsletter!
Jingle Bell Run/Walk Honoree
“Meet Teena Anderson. Teena is a living example of just how far arthritis research has come. Diagnosed with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis at the age of 14, doctors put her on a steady course of steroids and gold injections and told her she couldn’t play sports. Of course, we now know that movement is the best medicine for arthritis, and that’s why, despite her physical limitations, Teena has agreed to serve as the adult honoree for the 2014 Jingle Bell Run/Walk for Arthritis. Congratulations Teena!”
Sign up for the Shoestring E-Newsletter today to keep up on all the local events and news!
Congratulations Teena on winning the 2013 Heart of the Mission Award at the Indianapolis Chapter Arthritis Foundation Volunteer Recognition Dinner! Many hours of dedication and hard work culminated in an unanticipated yet very much deserved award.
Congratulations also to the other award winners who are dedicated to a wonderful organization, working tirelessly behind the scenes and directly with arthritis sufferers. You’re all appreciated!
Our 2013 Award Winners, from left to right: Teena Anderson (Heart of the Mission Award), Cheryl Kingsbury (Development Volunteer of the Year Award), Kevin Mandrell (Leadership Council Member of the Year Award) and Dr. Peter Chira (Consumer Health Volunteer Leadership Award) — at Dave and Busters banquet facility.
Please take a few minutes to explore the Arthritis Foundation website found in the left sidebar and consider volunteering, making a donation, or participating in an event!