Sunday, April 23, 2017

Breathe

Breathe.

Inhale.

Exhale.

In.

Out.

Breathe.

Such a simple thing.  We do it 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year for our entire life.

And yet.....

Some days it's hard to remember to just....Breathe.

I have a tendency to worry and get in my own head about things that are big and stressful.

I feel like I'm someone going a little cray cray.

However, I know that one way or another the things I'm worried about will work themselves out.

Finally got the results from the heart rate monitor that I wore for a week.  There were a couple of things that popped but nothing that couldn't be explained by exercise so my doctor is pretty happy.  The last week I haven't had an issues with the heart rate getting ridiculously high when working out so it seems that the methyl has finally worked it's way out of my system.  I had been doing the "what if?" game and worrying that it might be something else that would be a more permanent worry.  I go in to see doctor on Monday just to go over the results together in person and make sure that there isn't anything else I need to do to keep my heart happy.

That worked out in a way that made me relieved and reduced some stress for sure.

The other thing that has been stressing me out this month is that my sweet Bailey puppy has been sick.  At first we thought she just had an infection and she took antibiotics for a week but didn't get better.  The vet did blood tests and we found out she was severely anemic.  This was not a good thing.    We did another treatment plan to see if it was an autoimmune problem but the vet wasn't sure this would help.  He was pretty sure she had bone cancer.

I spent most of April watching my sweet girl get sicker and sicker.  It was so hard to watch her be less and less interested in anything.  I was preparing myself for what was coming but trying to hold onto hope that she would get better.

Friday she crossed the Rainbow Bridge.  She was with me when it happened.  She was only three years old.
Such a sweet face.  💜  This was taken on Wednesday.
I have never had a sweeter pet.  She was the most loving and silly puppy.  Full of energy and spunk and always ready to give me a good cuddle.  I loved her from the first time I held her when she was only two days old.  I loved training her to be a therapy dog, she was so smart.  My favorite thing was taking her on hikes.  She loved to run and was so good about being by me when other people went by us on the trail.
Bailey at one week old.  She already had my heart. 
Tennis balls were her favorite toy.  She would lose them all over the house.
When I had bad days at work she would get up in the recliner and give me Bailey kisses.  I have never been a huge fan of dogs licking me but for some reason I never minded it from Bailey.  Hard to stay sad when you have a sweet boxer giving you kisses, just saying.
Every time we did selfies there are a few like this.  😄

So this worry is also resolved.  Not in the way I wanted.  It hurts really, really bad and I know it's going to for a bit yet.

I also know that it will get better.

I also know that the grief I'm feeling over my pet is nothing compared to what people I love have gone through losing a parent or a child.  But even knowing that, I have a big hole in my heart with the loss my puppy.

I am thankful for the fact that instead of reaching for comfort food I am using my workouts as my therapy.  This is a big deal since in the past when I have been stressed or sad I use food as a stress reliever.

My coach has been working with me on being better with my breathing when I run.  Long steady exhales, long steady inhales.

He sent me this meme a few weeks ago.

I know this post hasn't been much about my workouts.

I have found that life and the things going on it have a big impact on how workouts go.   Whether I do them, how I feel while I'm doing them, how I react to when things go well or when they don't.

I have also found that workouts help dealing with the stresses of life.  Quite time in the pool was very much needed the past couple of weeks.  It gave me time to not think about my worries and just think about swimming.  The bike rides and runs have been good to keep the body moving and help me focus on what I can do rather than wallowing in worry and feeding that worry with food.
So I'm going to continue to breathe.

Sometimes it will come out ragged as I am crying through the breathing.

But I'm still breathing.

Breathe.

Inhale.

Exhale.

In.

Out.

Breathe.

Such a simple thing.







Monday, April 3, 2017

Beaver Freezer 2017

The first triathlon of 2017 has come and gone.  Lots of fun things to celebrate about this race.  A few things that didn't turn out quite like I had planned.

Out of the group that all works with my coach, aka the Booth Bunch, my husband Joe, Marcus, Ron, Mike, James and Jon's wife Janelle were all participating.  As well as our good friend Chad.  Quite a crew!

The weather wasn't terrible.  Not as awesome as last year but it wasn't super cold and dumping down rain.  It sprinkled a bit at the beginning so there were wet roads but overall not too bad.
Jon & Logan talking with Janelle before she started her swim.
Janelle was the first to swim.  She had been a little nervous about the swim but looked really good in the pool.  She did a good job of not going out too fast and getting out of breath (the way I did last year!)  It didn't take too long and she was out of the pool and heading to transition.
Love this picture!  Jon cheering and Janelle with a big smile! 😀
At this point I had to leave for a little while but I was able to make it back in time to see the guys start coming in from their bike ride.  I didn't get pictures of all of them but a few of them.  I missed seeing Janelle finish, which was a bummer but she said she had fun and felt like she did well.
Joe had a great ride.
Joe had a speedy transition and was quickly heading out to run.  
Next to come in was Marcus.
Looking good Marcus!
Melissa and Kirsten cheering Marcus as he starts the run.
I always love hanging out with Melissa at events.  We spend a lot of time laughing and talking!

Jon and I stayed and watched for Ron and Mike to finish the bike.  Almost all of the team was wearing Pure Endurance triathlon kits.  We got them last fall and they look great.  At one point I looked at Jon and asked him, "How does it feel to see Pure Endurance kits coming down the hill?"  He gave me a big smile and said it felt pretty good.  😃

Once everyone had finished the bike ride we walked over to watch them do the run.  The run is three loops around the Oregon State University campus.  

All the guys looked good on the run and finished strong.  
Joe running well.
Mike letting us know he hears us cheering for him. 
Joe coming into the finish. 
The athletes with their awesome coach (and coach's helper, Logan)
All of the participants looked like they had a lot of fun and they all did really well.  It was fun to be able to cheer them and encourage them along the way.  

However,  I was supposed to be participating too.  That part was hard.  Really hard.  I was so looking forward to doing the Beaver Freezer again and this time not being so scared.  

My swimming has been getting stronger, which is where I really struggled last year.  My biking and running are also faster.  I was really excited to see how I could do compared to last year.  

Last month I started taking a number of supplements to help with my new diagnosis of insulin resistance and hoping that it would help with my tired issues.  About two weeks in I lost a filling in a back tooth and ended up having it pulled.  

About a week later I was going on a bike ride and it was awful.  My heart rate was really high, I could feel my heart pounding out of my chest, I was sweating like crazy and I felt queasy.  So I didn't go for the longer ride I was supposed to but headed back towards home.  I had to go really slow in order to keep the heart rate from being out of control.

The next day I had to do a 30 minute run and was supposed to do a 11:20 pace.  I did pretty good for the first mile and then everything fell apart again.  My heart rate was over 190 and I felt terrible.  I started walking and my heart rate wouldn't come down.  Probably got all worked up about it which didn't help.  

Talked to my specialist and he had me stop taking the supplements that have methyl in them.  The methylfolate and the B12-Methyl.  He's pretty sure that I am having a reaction to the methyl in the supplements.  Doesn't happen often but it does happen in rare instances.  Leave it to me to be the rare case.  My journey never goes in a straight line.  😜

This past week it was a little bit better.  The bike ride the heart rate didn't get completely out of control, although I was being very careful and not going as fast as I usually would/could.  It spiked during my run again but when I walked it came back down pretty quickly so that was progress.  

Monday I happened to be in to see my regular doctor about a sleep study I had done a couple of months ago and I mentioned that I had a call into the specialist to ask if any of the supplements could be causing the problem.  Dr. David was not happy about the heart rate issue.  He decides I need an EKG for some baseline data and then he wants me to wear a heart rate monitor for two weeks.  I'm not supposed to get it wet or too sweaty because then it will fall off.  I tell him that I have a race on Saturday and ask if I can still do the race and then put the monitor on. He decides that will probably be okay if I have someone who can be keeping an eye on me in case something goes wrong or that I will stop if things start getting really wonky.  I said that I would do that and volunteered my coach to keep an eye on me.  

I had a bike ride that went well but my run on Wednesday was not good.  I was supposed to do 1/2 mile intervals on the track at a 10:30-10:45 pace.  I ended up only doing 1/4 mile intervals because each time my heart rate got over 190.  A couple of times it got over 200.  Didn't think it was a good idea to keep pushing it for another lap when it got that high.  Ugh.  

Thursday I got to go for a short bike ride with the Booth Bunch.  We met at Jon's house so we could ride, practice transitioning to running and do a short run.  Then we got to stay and have grubbing dinner.  Jon talked with the group about fitness and fatigue and why we taper before a race.  It was cool to see a graph that showed what he was talking about.  I love looking at data and seeing how it all connects.  That is one of the fun parts of having a Garmin tracking my workouts.  I like looking at the information and being able to compare it to other workouts.  

When we were getting ready to go Jon asked me to hang for a minute.  I knew we were going to talk about how my heart rate issue was going and about the Beaver Freezer race on Saturday.  And I knew what the result was probably going to need to be.  

I had run for only five minutes after my practice transition and my heart rate had gotten up to 185 in the first couple of minutes.   That's not good.  

Originally I had thought that I could kick ass on the swim portion of the Beaver Freezer, cruise through the bike part without pushing it too much and then walk/run the 5k and just enjoy the day.  I could be happy with that because I wanted two things out of this event.  First, I wanted to do well with the swim portion because last year I had some struggles.  Second, I wanted to go into this event and not be scared.  Last year I was so scared and nervous.  I wanted to just have fun and I figured I could do that even if I could go all out and get a PR.  

But they had to change the bike route a little.  The added a little steep hill about halfway through.  A totally doable hill.  We went and drove it and I have done hills that steep.  But the problem is that when you have to crank up a steep hill your heart rate goes up quite a bit for a while.  I was worried that it would get up in the 190+ range going up that hill and then it wouldn't come down like it should.  If I got dizzy or wonky coming down the hill that could be bad. 

So I have a heart that is beating faster than it should during runs and on certain bike rides.  It hasn't improved significantly in two weeks.  My doctor is concerned and reluctantly has okayed the Beaver Freezer.  And now there is a hill that will add to the concerns.  

I knew what Jon was going to say.  I knew he was going to be right.  Didn't mean it wasn't hard.  As much as I wanted to be in the Beaver Freezer I am not a stupid lady.  I have to take care of myself and make sure I don't do something that will damage me in the long run.  So with a lot of tears on my part we made the decision for me to not participate in the Beaver Freezer.  

Now here's the thing about my coach.  He knew this was going to be hard.  As we discussed it and I cried he was so very kind and understanding but let me know he was concerned.  Then he told me that I could blame him.  Tell people that he wouldn't let me race.  lol  Whatever.  He sent me this text later that evening.  
Here's what I had to say to him.
I have a very good coach and an even better friend.  

I then drove to my husband's work.  He opened the door for me, took one look at my face and put me in the office and shut the door.  He knows me so well and he knew I was a very unhappy camper.  He let me cry as I told him and just listened.  Agreed that we had made the right decision and basically loved and supported me.  He does that exceptionally well.

So Saturday when I had to leave the race it was to go over to my doctor's office to have the heart rate monitor attached.  I am glad I don't have to do the one that has all the wires and a box to have on my belt the whole time.  This one is basically just taped to my chest.  
Could be worse.  
Now I tend to worry and think way too much about things that could be bad or could be nothing.  I think about all the worst case scenarios.  It takes a few days for me to process and kind of find my footing.  Pull my big girl panties and deal with the unknown.  My poor husband has to deal with my while I work through my process.  One of the blessings of being married to my best friend for so long is that he knows my process and gives me time to go through it.  And if I'm wallowing a little too long then he gives me a shake and tells me to get moving forward.  I love this man so much!
Joe getting ready to race.  If I can't race at least I can support my favorite athlete!! 💜💜
So I have a heart rate monitor on for about a week.  I have stop taking some of the supplements and we are hoping that is what is causing the problem.  

In the meantime, I am still biking and running.  I will adjust workouts if things get wonky but at least I can keep moving!  Hard to believe that the thought of NOT being able to work out makes me crazy.  It wasn't that long ago that the thought of HAVING to workout made me crazy.  I like that working out is part of me and my life now and that I can't imagine not doing it.  

I'll be praying for answers and that the doctors don't find anything other than a reaction to the supplements, that there won't be anything else for them to find.  

Next race is the Oregon Dunes triathlon in May.  I'm going to plan like I'm racing, prepare as best I can and be hopeful that everything will be good and settle down.
In the meantime, I was able to cheer on my team at the Beaver Freezer.  Which was a total blast.  Love getting to workout with these people and love seeing them get stronger and reach goals.  
The Booth Bunch!  Good looking group!
Looking forward to more adventures, whether they are the way I had planned or not. 

SaveSave