Verti-NO and a Stepback Week


OHHHHH Friends. Yet another random health mishap in the life of Mrs. Upsanddownes 😉  Let me set the scene:  it was husband’s birthday Sunday. I had worked a convention for Nest in the morning,


And then took Z to husband’s baseball game.


On the way home I stopped at Reading Terminal to pick up cannoli for the birthday boy.  At about three blocks from my house, I experienced a MAJOR dizzy spell like nothing else I have EVER experienced. I thought it was a fluke and continued to drive a few feet, but it continued.  So I pulled over and got out, putting my head between my knees to try to get my bearings.  I didn’t know what to think. I was SO scared. The following thoughts went through my head:  is there carbon monoxide in the car (is Zach ok!?!)?  Am I having a stroke?  Migraine?  (Never had one and my head didn’t hurt Brain tumor?!  ARGG  worst. feeling. ever.  Panic set in.  I somehow made it home, nursed Z, put him down for a nap and collapsed on my bed to “wait it out.”  It didn’t get better.  I tried to look at my phone and everything was spinning.  I just had this horrible gut feeling that something was REALLY wrong, so I called my neighbor to come over to watch Z until my mom came from the ‘burbs and I walked teetered to Pennsylvania Hospital’s ER.  Thank God I made it without passing out, puking, or falling over.  Long story short, I was there for about 5 hours.  It was kinda awful.  After some tests, it was confirmed that I had benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV). From the WebMD

What is benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV)?

Vertigo is the feeling that you are spinning or the world is spinning around you. Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo is caused by a problem in the inner ear camera. It usually causes brief vertigo spells that come and go.

For some people, BPPV goes away by itself in a few weeks. But it can come back again.

BPPV is not a sign of a serious health problem.

What causes BPPV?

Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) is caused by a problem in the innerear. Tiny calcium “stones” inside your inner ear canals help you keep your balance. Normally, when you move a certain way, such as when you stand up or turn your head, these stones move around. But things like infection or inflammation can stop the stones from moving as they should. This sends a false message to your brainand causes the vertigo.

What are the symptoms?

The main symptom is a feeling that you are spinning or tilting when you are not. This can happen when you move your head in a certain way, like rolling over in bed, turning your head quickly, bending over, or tipping your head back.

BPPV usually lasts a minute or two. It can be mild, or it can be bad enough to make you feel sick to your stomach and vomit. You may even find it hard to stand or walk without losing your balance.

 Anyway, it sucked.  But they gave me a great anti-vertigo med to use until the problem resolves itself.  I am so thankful it wasn’t more serious (and that I was home to feed Z and put him to bed).  It is so scary when you feel so out of control and don’t know what is going on!  Anyone else ever experience this?!  Horrible.

OK, so this week seemed like a perfect one for a step-back week from half-marathon training.  I have about a month until the big day!

Screen Shot 2013-08-14 at 8.24.08 PM

Funny, because Caitlin was just talking about stepback weeks. From her blog:

What Coach Marni calls an Active Recovery Week is basically a Stepback Week. What does this mean? Well, in any decent training plan for longer events, every month of so, you’ll get a break (in running training plans, you usually see about 25% less mileage during a stepback week).  Stepback weeks are necessary for two reasons: 

  • Physical:  Stepback weeks give your body a break and allow time for muscles to heal properly.  Avoiding injury is key, and stepbacks really give your joints and bones a break from the constant pounding of ANY distance training plan.
  • Mental:  Most importantly (to me), stepbacks give you a mental break.  Especially for a longer race like a half or full marathon or a longer triathlon, the training program is such a huge time commitment.  Stepbacks give you some breathing room and help boost your spirits.  I always come back from a stepback week ready to go!


AMEN.  This girl needed a stepback week both mentally AND physically (due to vertigo and heavy legs) this week. My average mileage has been 30-35 throughout training, but will be less this week in order to “step back.”  I will still do a long run so to stay on training schedule, but here is what my Stepback week has/will look like:

Saturday- OFF due to travel

Sunday- OFF due to vertigo

Monday- 4 miles, easing back after vertigo bout (also thought I could “jog” the crystals back into place LOL.  Really.

Tuesday- 7 miles (SPLIT: 4.25 hills on treadmill, later 2.75 easy)

Wednesday- 4 miles outdoors on track (was supposed to be easy but felt soooo hard, like one mile was really ten)

Yea, that pic pretty much sums it up.

Yea, that pic pretty much sums it up.

Thursday- cross train (elliptical?)

Friday- haven’t decided


Sunday- Long Run

Anyway, that’s the stepback.  How have you been?!

3 thoughts on “Verti-NO and a Stepback Week

  1. Hmm. Vertigo is something that hasn’t crossed my mind before. I occasionally get dizzy for no reason. It’s not bad and doesn’t last long so I haven’t done anything about it but hope I don’t have a brain tumor. I’ve never even considered vertigo. Thanks for sharing!

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