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Heart & Sole: Survivor’s Perspective on SCAD

Posted by on Feb 7, 2017 in DR. BETTIE, Guest Blog, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Heart & Sole: Survivor’s Perspective on SCAD

Cynthia Mauzerall was planing to race the USATF Cross Country Championships with the Boise Betties’ masters team.  Just a month before the race, she suffered a heart attack.  It was an incredibly scary time for our team.  Here Cynthia shares her perspective on the events immediately following the event.

 

When I woke up, I saw faces staring at me-friendly, helpful, concerned, surprised.  Family members were tearing up and I had no idea why.  The only words I could think to say were, “hi” and “what am I doing here?”  My husband was told he would be sharing the details with me over and over again until my memory got stronger.  When I was informed that I had suffered a Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection (SCAD), I wasn’t sure how to wrap my arms around that.  Frankly, I thought maybe they made a mistake.  I asked myself, “Are they overreacting?” The look on the faces of the team of doctors suggested it was true.  Amongst this team of white lab coats was one of my best friends since age 15.  Certainly she will tell me what’s what.  Dr. Jen (formally known as Dr. Jennifer Anderson) was calm and composed and yet seemed to empathize with how odd all this was to me.  She likely knew I had to grasp that this was serious enough that I would not be heading out the door for a run any time soon.

Once the doctors left the room, I searched for evidence.  What are all these tubes, catheters, and scars?  Family explained that a stent was placed over the dissected artery.  I began to feel pain in my chest and ribs.  They told me that was CPR that was conducted by 2 everyday heroes at the gym- a retired paramedic and a physical therapist.  Slowly I ventured out of detective mode into one of Gratitude.  I was grateful for Family and for amazing medical team that despite their current unassuming demeanor had to respond at lightning speed with limited information when I arrived at the ER.  I was grateful for those who stepped up and did CPR knowing that it might not make a difference.

The theme of gratitude has been on my mind continually- much because my story was filled with events that now seem rather miraculous.  However, I am also grateful for mindfulness and science.  Dr. Jen and her team keep abreast of advancements and case studies in Cardiology.  In fact, Dr. Jen has been known to stash The New England Journal of Medicine in her bathroom for “easy reading”.  A new gratefulness has emerged for curiosity and mindfulness.  Dr. Jen has reiterated that we are experts on what are bodies are communicating to us.  We need to listen, to be curious, to ask questions.  I had ben slowing down substantially on my runs and workouts but felt foolish mentioning it to anyone.  I felt lucky to be as active as I am at 42.  I could have simply said, “Maybe this is nothing, but….” We don’t have to be MDs to be mindful of our bodies, and what they communicate to us.  There are folks out there like Dr. Jen whose passion is to understand what the symptoms mean, we just have to vocalize those symptoms.

Heart & Sole: The Betties to Run for Women’s Heart Health Awareness

Posted by on Feb 3, 2017 in DR. BETTIE, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Heart & Sole: The Betties to Run for Women’s Heart Health Awareness

Heart & Sole: The Betties to Run for Women’s Heart Health Awareness

The phone call came on what seemed to be an otherwise typical busy day in the hospital.  “I’ve got a bit of an unusual case here, ” the emergency room physician began.  “A 42 year-old woman was found down at the gym…”

I had a fleeting thought of “jeez, I hope I don’t know her”, but refocused my attention on the rest of my colleague’s information.  This certainly was an unusual case…  He described her as a fit looking woman, who had no signs to suggest that she otherwise had a heart problem.  However, we both had a high level of suspicion that she may have suffered a heart-related event.  

We made a quick plan over the phone, and I immediately headed to the emergency room to take a look at her.  It was moments later that yes, indeed, our Jane Doe was someone that I knew.  But not only was she someone that I knew… she was one of my closest friends.

It is always difficult to see individuals arrive in such a critical state of illness.  They have wires and tubes attached to their bodies.  Though they are draped hastily in a hospital gown, there is no room for modesty, and some level of unintentional exposure is inevitable.  There may be bruises or blood.  They may be agitated and moving their limbs in awkward and uncoordinated ways.  This was not the way my friend was supposed to look.  Even though I knew she was not in a state to hear me, I promised her that we would sort this out.  I swiftly placed a hollow tube into her artery and thread my way to the blood vessels supplying her heart.  When the dye that illuminated her arteries clearly suggested the culprit, I must admit that I felt some level of shock:  My friend had, indeed, experienced a heart attack.

Recent studies suggest that we are becoming more aware of the fact that heart disease remains the number one killer of women in America.  While one in 31 women dies from breast cancer each year, heart disease claims the lives of one in three.   This is equivalent to roughly one death each minute.  Unfortunately, studies also suggest that younger women are less aware of the importance of heart disease compared to older women.  This is extremely important, as heart disease affects all ages, and raising awareness may save lives.  

Like my friend, heart disease can affect healthy, fit individuals who abide by good eating habits and have never smoked a cigarette.  Yet there are other more subtle risk factors, such as knowing your family history and your blood cholesterol numbers, that are important to recognize.  It is also important to understand that symptoms of heart disease may be atypical – and may be mistaken for anxiety, gut pain, or just general fatigue.  We need to listen to our bodies.  We need to listen to each other.  We need to know our own risk factors, and we need to discuss these with our medical providers.

It is with great relief, awe and gratitude that I can share my friend’s story and her happy ending.  She is now home with her beautiful family, and her heart is beginning to heal.  She has returned to work, and has started some light exercise with our cardiac rehabilitation program (which she described to me as “fun”).  She continues to inspire us all, and has generously agreed to share her story with our community.  This weekend, the USATF Cross Country National Championship running races will be held in Bend, Oregon, and our own Boise Betties women’s running team will be racing in her honor – and to raise awareness of heart disease for all women, young and old.  

Dr. Jennifer S. Anderson, MD, PhD, FACC is a cardiologist at Saint Alphonsus Heart Institute.  She specializes in exercise and sports cardiology, women’s heart care, prevention and lipid management.  

An Awesome Partnership with St. Luke’s Sports Medicine

Posted by on Jan 20, 2016 in SPONSORS, Uncategorized | Comments Off on An Awesome Partnership with St. Luke’s Sports Medicine

The Boise Betties are super excited to announce that we have been selected by St. Luke’s Sports Medicine as a sponsored team in 2016!  This is an incredible partnership for our athletes to stay on top of injury prevention and care- a must for any level of athlete!

What does this mean for the members of our running club?  It means that the physical therapists at St. Lukes Orthopedic Rehabilitation gave us an inside line for booking appointments; a chance to nip an injury in the bud.  If injury does set in and our athletes need a cross training option, St. Luke’s has granted us complimentary hours each week on the AlterG treadmill (antigravity treadmill: basically the best thing an injured runner could hope for).  But best of all, our athletes will prevent injuries with the help of comprehensive gait analysis by the pro’s in the sports medicine department.

Imagine running on a treadmill, in front of a large grid with little dots stuck on your knees and hips- actually dots on every joint- all in the name of identifying weaknesses in your running form!  Subtle hip drops and twisting torsos will no longer aggravate our Betties to the point of injury.  This is a very cool chance for our team to gain personal insight at a level many elite runners have not yet experienced.  As a new offering at the clinic, we are thrilled to be some of the first in line for the service!

2016 is going to be a great year for our healthy, strong, and balanced Betties!  Thank you St. Lukes!

Community XC in Boise

Posted by on Nov 17, 2015 in Racing Report, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Community XC in Boise

Community XC in Boise

With just 3 community races, the Betties made a decent showing at each.  As we prep for the USATF National Championships in Bend next February, we have to get our racing legs under us where we can.  Here are a few photos from the awesomely fun XC races Boise offers!

 

 

 

FitOne Races

Posted by on Sep 28, 2015 in Racing Report, Uncategorized | Comments Off on FitOne Races

FitOne Races

The Betties ran some fast times with nearly perfect weather!

AG win at Boise 70.3

Posted by on Jun 14, 2015 in Racing Report, Uncategorized | Comments Off on AG win at Boise 70.3

AG win at Boise 70.3

Sarah Barber has been a cyclist for many years – and very successful in the sport. She joined the Boise Betties this spring and began working on her running. I was impressed from the start by her work ethic and athletic abilities.

When she mentioned the possibility of competing in the Boise half Ironman – rumored to be the last Boise Ironman event – I encouraged her as strongly as I could. She was on the fence but her Bettie teammates I wanted to see her give the event a try.

Needless to say, Sarah had an incredible debut in the half Ironman. She won her age group and powered through the heat. It was an incredible race. Congratulations Sarah!!
   
📷: David Meadows

  

📷: David Meadows

         

Sawtooth Relay 2015

Posted by on Jun 14, 2015 in Racing Report, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Sawtooth Relay 2015

Sawtooth Relay 2015

so proud to announce that the Boise Betties ran hard, had fun, and supported each other to a first place finish!  Congrats ladies!!!!
Here are a few photos from the day, mostly in reverse order :/ 🙂

   
                               

Ironman 70.3 in St. George 

Posted by on May 15, 2015 in Guest Blog, Racing Report, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Ironman 70.3 in St. George 

Ironman 70.3 in St. George 

The stories are coming, but the photos are here. Barkley got after her first Ironman in style, despite an epic flat and desert heat.  

           

Bloomsday 2015 Race

Posted by on May 15, 2015 in Racing Report, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Bloomsday 2015 Race

Bloomsday 2015 Race

Jordan and Gretchen traveled to Spokane to participate in the Bloomsday 12k.  Toeing the line with the best of the west (and several Olympians from around the world), these two ran well and represented the Betties in a national class race.  Nice work!

 

Give the Running Skirt a Try!

Posted by on Apr 30, 2015 in Gear Review, Guest Blog, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Give the Running Skirt a Try!

Give the Running Skirt a Try!

Enjoy this guest blog from Boise Bettie founding member, Maria Morgan.  She wanted to try something new, but was smart to try the change before race day.  Her trial and error is comically real and will probably bring to tears as I was, in laughing so hard as she relayed the story.  Read on for a good laugh, because really, we’ve all been there!

 

Many of the Betties trained for the 2015 Race to Robie Creek half marathon, where this year’s theme was the Running of the Bulls.  Because so many Betties were training for the race (about 15 members), my teammate Samia thought we should get outfits to go with the theme- she loves the Robie themes!  Emily teamed us up with Lululemon and we were outfitted with Run: Swiftly Tech Tank in white- with the Boise Betties and Bandanna Running logos, of course- and white Pace Rival running skirts.

I had never worn a running skirt before, nor did I have any desire to do so.  I do not have the body shape of someone you think of when you think of a runner so I was a little nervous about running a half marathon in a skirt.  I opted for the tall-sized skirt in hopes that the slightly longer shorts under the skirt would help me avoid the dreaded “chub rub.”  For those of you not familiar with these terms, chub rub is when chubby thighs rub together which can lead to chaffing.  I usually wear long shorts or capris to prevent this very uncomfortable side effect of running in shorts that are too short.

A week before Robie, I gave the white running skirt a trial run at the Micron FABulous 5K.  I had recently invested in some Body Glide which I liberally applied to my inner thighs just in case the shorts on the running skirt rode up during the race.  It took all of 0.25 miles for the shorts to ride up on me.  Luckily, the Body Glide did its job and I didn’t have any chaffing.  whew!  However, I did not have enough experience with Body Glide to know if I could trust it to work for 13 miles.  If the Glide didn’t work, the already grueling race would be miserable.  I had just a few days before the race to come up with a solution for my skirt dilemma.  With three young children to care for, I didn’t have a lot of free time to shop.  I looked for a solution in my closet.

First thing I found- Spanx!  The form fitting, suck it in, keep it there spandex intended to go under your clothes to improve the fit.  I gave Spanx a try. This particular pair of Spanx was nude colored with mid-thigh shorts and a tummy control waist the went to just below my chest.   I thought, “If Spanx can prevent chub rub all-day in a dress, it can work under the running skirt, right?”.  It may have the added benefit of hiding my belly a little.  So, I gave the Spanx and white running skirt combo a test run in my neighborhood.

I set out on my a 5-mile run feeling fast and thin with these Spanx holding everything in.  All was fine until about two miles in to the run.  I started to run up a pretty big hill and I suddenly realized that I couldn’t breathe.  The tummy control part of the Spanx was restricting my breathing! I couldn’t make it all the way of the hill like this, so I turned around.   As I ran down the hill, I attempted to pull the tummy control portion of the Spanx down so I could breathe a little better.  Once I did this though, I had this uncomfortably tight ring around my middle with the fabric annoyingly rolling up and down with each step.  This was way worse, so I did my best to pull the Spanx back up despite the many cars passing me on the road.  Finally, I gave up on the run at mile four.  Clearly, Spanx was not the solution.

A couple of days later, on my way to the packet pick-up for Robie, I stopped by Bandanna Running and Walking to pick up my race jersey.  Getchen was there and we started talking about my white running skirt problem.  I told her that I wanted a longer pair of white running shorts to wear under the skirt, but I didn’t have the time to search around.  Besides, how many stores would carry white running shorts (for obvious reasons, yikes!)?  She chimed in saying that I should search the men’s section and we spied some men’s white boxer briefs in the store, but they were too short.  Then suddenly, it hit me: I had a pair of Under Armour long, white boxer briefs at home.  I purchased them when I was pregnant with my twins and I had been wearing a lot of maternity dresses.  I wore the Under Armour boxer briefs under the white running skirt and they work perfectly for the entire half marathon.  The solution to my problem was in my closet all along!