Monday, April 29, 2013

Things I'm not very good at and my top five happy things

The list is probably long, but at the very top is patience, dealing with the unknown, and controlling my own "worst case scenario" from playing out at every opportunity. So, it's pretty frustrating not to be able to get in to see a rheumatologist until May 8th. In fact, the doctor I was referred to by my primary physician wasn't taking appointments until the end of June. I called around & found another specialist covered by my insurance plan who was available earlier, thank God.

So, to recap, I got the call on Saturday night that I tested positive for an autoimmune "disease" (that was the word she used). The results were concerning, & I needed to make an appointment right away to see a specialist. Testing positive means there are a limited set of things that I could have - it's not a definitive "you're pregnant" test result. Some of the diseases are a big deal (lupus & rheumatoid arthritis, being two of them). The lupus one freaks me out, because the symptoms that I originally went to see my doctor about were: fatigue, extreme hair loss, muscle & joint pain, an increase in my anemia symptoms, and an ongoing low-grade fever. Which matches up with the lupus symptoms. Yes, I know, self-diagnosing is not a good idea. But, I also feel the need to "prepare" myself, for any of the possibilities that loom ahead. Does that make sense?

To me, get in to see a specialist "right away" means . . . this week? Not the end of June. Anyway, depending on what could be wrong, there are certain lifestyle changes I should be making or considering - how much running I'm doing (creating additional joint pain seems like a bad idea), drinking might be problematic, etc. So, how much should I change my life while I wait around to hear what's going on? The honest truth is that I'm.scared.shitless. Seriously, I'm scared that the person I am right now is going to change, and I'm going to have to adjust my entire lifestyle. The reason I went into the doctor for the initial appointment is that I just don't feel like myself - I'm EXHAUSTED. I want to crawl up under my desk and take a nap. I feel like a lazy slug who is not a good employee, mom, runner, and I just can't stand the feeling of not being myself.

I don't know if I should continue to train for my half marathon in a couple of weeks, but what I'm going to *try* to do (which, goes completely against the grain for my Type A, training plan & schedule driven self) is train as much as I comfortably can. If that means I'm not fully trained, I'll deal with that. If I'm able to train as my plan calls for, I can make a game time decision about being ready for my half. My goal is to not push my body past what it can comfortably do right now - which is kind of the opposite of the normal running philosophy, I think. :-)

So, on that fun & awesome note, here are the top 5 things making me happy right this very second!!!

  1. My amazing husband booked a trip to Las Vegas, for the week my parents are taking the kiddos to Disneyland. I really, really need to look forward to: cabana time, sunshine, massages, adult-only dinners, time with my love, & people watching!!
      2. My grandmother's 80th birthday. My mom, sister & I are taking her to the beach in a few weeks to celebrate. She has dementia, & so there are times when it's hard to see her change and forget things, but when she's in the moment, it's fabulous. She was hugely important in my life when I was growing up. Our last beach trip with the ladies! Why yes, we're in the local watering hole. ;-)

3. My boys have become obsessed with reading!! Here's my little guy, at the bus stop. Just reading away.

4. This lady, who saved me from myself & took me to lunch (and cupcakes!) yesterday. College roommate way back in the time machine, still best friends (on the right). In the middle is my amazing sister, who is turning 40, even though you would never know it! Jealous of the baby face.

5. Oh, & I may have bought myself a new bikini for getting into trouble this summer! The dark purple looks surprisingly good on my super pale skin. ;-)

Fill me in! What are the top five things making you happy right this very second?!!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

10K PR

It was my first 10K, so of course it was a PR! :-) Garmin time - 1:04, 6.4 miles.

Ran it, rocked it, put all thoughts of autoimmune disease & test results away, & focused on the fact that my body was strong enough to run today. That's enough for the moment.

I crushed my 5K PR, which was likely not the best strategy, since it was a 10K, but I did have a nice smile on my face as I looked at my watch & thought of how far I've come as a runner in the past two years. This race was where it all started, & I remember looking at the 10K runners & not knowing how it would even be possible to run for 6 miles.

I can already tell that, regardless of what the rheumatologist/specialists tell me, I am going to need a physical outlet to deal with all of the stress & unknowns that lay ahead. No matter what changes in my life, or my physical capabilities, I AM A RUNNER.

Any fun races this weekend? Fill me in!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

To race, or not to race

What a wild ride the last few weeks have been. I got a flu that just wouldn't quit, I've been having such terrible fatigue, swollen joints, sore muscles, you name it. My doctor thought it was a flare up of my anemia, so I moved on & have been pushing myself to get back to normal over the last week - getting back to slow (but regular) workouts, eating better (less carbtastic than I was during the flu & post-flu comfort food phase), & getting religious with my iron supplements.

My doctor called tonight & I tested positive for an autoimmune disease. Leaning towards lupus, given my drastic hair loss & some other symptoms, but nothing is for sure at this point, just the positive test result for the ANA test. I got a referral to a rheumatologist & hopefully can get in next week.

I've been feeling like the laziest loser every day for the past month. No energy, no desire to run, so much trouble focusing at work. .. . I've known something was up.

This is all emotional, & I'm still trying to process everything the doctor said. I finally had to stop googling all of the symptoms, because nothing will stress you out more than a self-diagnosis.

Title aside, I am planning on running my 10K tomorrow. Slow & steady. This is the first race I ever did (a 5K, way back in the time machine in 2011).

This race makes me remember how far I've come as a runner, & I'm going to rock it. And, by rocking it, I mean slowly & easily. ;-)

Doctors get this stuff wrong all the time, right?

Monday, April 22, 2013

Makeover Monday and the return of the 20 mile week?

Happy Monday, all. My title from the post I was going to publish last Monday was "Return of the 20 mile week", because I had a great training week & was pleased that I was finally back on track with my training plan. . .

And, then I got the flu around midnight last Monday. I ran 4 miles (in total) last week, & I'm back to freaking out about my half marathon that is coming up in just under three weeks! I really have not been able to consistently train for this. I think my goal will be to finish, not focus on time, and find another half this summer that I can really rock & PR.

For those of you who are long-time readers, you may remember the "growing out my blonde hair color" saga. Refresher, here. :-)

I did, in fact grow out all of the blonde, in a true test of my patience. About three months after the grow out was complete, I started to go gray. Like, full on, ashy blonde/gray. I've been struggling with the dilemma of what to do with my hair for a few months (okay, six months), but I've been too afraid to do anything. Last night (after cancelling three previous appointments because I was too nervous), I added honey blonde highlights to hide the gray.

The before picture, at the salon. And, this was right after my workout - my salon is at my gym - hence the awesome post-pony tail curls. ;-)

And, after. I think it's pretty subtle, but Michael, who didn't want me to color it at all, kind of freaked out. ;-)

This morning's picture shows the highlights a bit better.

In huge news, it's sunny this morning, after a full weekend of rain! Do you know what happens to two kids when they are trapped inside on a rainy weekend & can't get all of their wigglies out in the great outdoors? I'll give you a hint . . . it involves lots of wrestling, general naughtiness, & time outs. ;-)

Sandal-wearing day. FINALLY!

In my first ever blog prize win, the fabulous Cori at Read.Write.Run.Mom sent me my Clif bar prize pack. Not shown in the picture is the chocolate/coconut flavor that I inhaled as soon as the package arrived. YUM! :-) Thank you, thank you, thank you, Cori! The boys are loving the Clif granola bars. I haven't seen those in stores, but will have to check them out.

What's the running plan for the week, you ask? Ahhhhhh, yes, that! :-) Well, my Hood to Coast team has a Facebook page, and we all report our weekly mileage numbers. I love it, and it keeps me motivated. Typically we average around 20 miles/per person. Yesterday, I had the honor of posting my "4 mile week". And, one of our other runners posted 47! Just the motivation I need to kick things up a notch, know that when I work hard, I can get the mileage in, and a reminder to refocus after being sick. So, thanks to Elliot for that kick in the pants. ;-)

Here's the plan! My core has been bothering me when I run, so time to amp up the yoga & pilates.

  • Monday - 4 miles + arms, & pilates in the evening.
  • Tuesday -  Cross train + legs & yoga
  • Wednesday - Hill repeats (4 miles).
  • Thursday - 4 miles speed workouts + arms + pilates
  • Friday - Rest + yoga.
  • Saturday - 12 miler.
  • Sunday - running a 10K. Was supposed to be with Michael, but he hasn't been training at all, so I'll probably be solo, and may see if there's a kids run for the boys.
Woohoo! How do you approach events where you don't feel fully trained? Any tips? I need the mental inspiration as much as the physical this week. Also, looking for healthy homemade snacks, for myself & the kiddos. We do a lot of homemade muffins, granola bars, trail mix, etc, but if you have any quick & easy favorite recipes, please share!

My current favorite granola bar recipe is this one.  

Monday, April 15, 2013

Just sadness

Nothing really seems worth blogging about, but my thoughts and prayers go out to all of those impacted. I'm nowhere, nowhere near fast enough to even dream about running Boston, but I've crossed other finish lines, & had my kids there, & even crossed the finish line at my first half holding hands with my son. The news that an 8 year old was killed hits way too close to home.

It just feels so personal.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Do you ever have those days

when you feel not so good about yourself?

I've had a hard time balancing work (it's crazy - I took over for a coworker who left, & my workload has doubled) & working out. We ate out a lot when my parents watched the boys (a few days of bliss, followed by me missing them terribly). :-) I haven't been getting any sleep due to the construction happening outside my house (picture an overpass being built about 35 feet from your bedroom window - the work happens 24x7). I'm exhausted, & the sleep deprivation has been foiling my morning workout plans.

Today I was in a crazy funk where I felt very chubby & out of shape. And, quite frankly, freaked out about my half marathon that's in four weeks - that I haven't been consistently training for.

I managed to squeeze in one mile of sprints on the treadmill by bribing my children with chicken nuggets (yes, I have no shame), before they broke into a wrestling match. I ate a healthy salad for dinner, & was contemplating finishing the rest of my run after the kiddos go to bed.

And then I got this from my sister, from our vacation three years ago. . . just when you feel like you haven't made any progress in your fitness journey.

Oh.My.Goodness. And, no, I'm not pregnant, contrary to what the photo reveals.

Now I run half marathons, & weigh 35 pounds less. Even on a day like today, when I'm not feeling my best, I'm trying to remind myself that I've changed my life. I may not be perfect, or as thin as I want to be, or run as much as I want, but I am a different person - I take care of myself, I work out, & I eat well (within reason - I won't quit you, wine!).

I needed that today! And, as soon as Curious George is over, I'm going to go finish my sprint intervals on the treadmill. Half marathon in 4 weeks - I can DO THIS!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Giving up sugar

After my big Easter candy blowout, and the way my jeans are feeling, I think it's time to cut out sugar for a week. I'm not going to get too hung up on food that has added sugar (my cereal that I snack on does), but I am going to focus on not eating the following:

  • Candy
  • Baked goods
  • Frozen yogurt (because I like to top it with junk)
  • Ice cream
I'm going to shoot for a week, and see if that helps reduce my cravings and just generally make me feel better. It's nuts, because I do not feel good after eating food that's not terribly healthy *cough - chicken strips & tater tots for lunch, bags of Easter candy, chips*, but I still occasionally succumb. I tend to really struggle when Michael is out of town & I'm home alone with the kids (which is happening this week & next), so now feels like the right time to work on this.

I was supposed to get up at 5:00 am to run on the treadmill, but I got about three hours of sleep last night. They were working on a massive, multi-year construction project right outside our house, and the trucks were particularly loud last night, & kept waking up the kids. No fun. I am currently having green tea & feeling like a zombie. I *will* run today, so I'll need to be creative about when I fit that in.

You know who else enjoyed candy this weekend? These little cuties. I kept trying to take pictures, and mouths were always full! :-) Note the chocolate on Sam's face, and Nick's chewing.

How about you? Have you ever given up sugar? How long did it take before you stopped craving it?

Monday, April 1, 2013

Must stop eating Easter candy

First of all, we had a fabulous, fabulous weekend at the beach. Typically in March, you're in for cold & wet weather at the coast, with (if you're lucky) some sun breaks. Instead, we got this:

The kids did this:

They were also pretty tuckered out after all that fun, so there was a little resting on the couch and napping in the car, as well. Easter egg glasses-optional.

I did manage to get out for one lonely run, and it was stunning. I even brought my phone so I could stop & take pictures. A gorgeous, gorgeous day for a run.

I had big plans to run 7 miles on Saturday, but instead I spent the day at the beach with my cute husband, watching the kids frolic in the sand. All was not lost, I did manage to bike to town with the kiddos in search of ice cream. ;-)

And, it's only fair to say that shortly after that picture was taken, I got a wicked, wicked sunburn on my chest.  I didn't even think to bring the sunblock - in March!

Now that I've inhaled a ton of Easter candy, it's time to dust myself off and focus on my training plan once again. Michael's traveling a lot over the course of the next few weeks, so I need to be especially disciplined with my schedule - there's no opportunity to find another time to workout if I sleep through my alarm.

  • Monday - Run around 6:30 or 7:00. 3-4 miles on the 'mill.
  • Tuesday - Run 5 miles in the morning + power yoga
  • Wednesday - Cross train in the morning + arms
  • Thursday - Speed repeats in the morning + pilates
  • Friday - Cross train + arms
  • Saturday - 4 miler + legs
  • Sunday - 9 miler + power yoga

Did you overindulge over Easter? Favorite Easter candy? Cadbury mini eggs!! How was the weather for you over the weekend?