Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Keep Moving Forward

What a year it has been!  I have learned a lot.  Had struggles and setbacks.  Had victories and successes.  Been blessed continuously by long time friends and family.  Been blessed to gain new friends.  Overall it has been a very good year.

When I started this blog on New Year's Eve it was for me.  I thought that by writing out my frustrations and successes it might help me through the process of becoming a healthier me.  I also figured if anyone actually read it then I would be kept accountable because someone would be looking to see what I was up to most.  I also wanted to be an encouragement for people like me who are working on getting healthy.  Sometimes it is just nice to know there is someone else out there who is going through what you are going through.  Somehow it makes it feel less like you are going through things alone.

In 2013 I ran in one 3K, one 10K, one 15K, four Half Marathons, one Relay race, three 5Ks, one 3.75 Turkey Trot and one Sprint Triathlon.  I participated in an organized event every month except for March, June and September.

  • Hangover Run-3K-28:30, Average pace: 15'19"
  • Cascade 10K-1:27:41, Average pace: 14'07"
  • Shamrock Run 15K-2:11:06, Average pace 14'07"
  • Corvallis Half Marathon-2:54:43, Average pace 13'21"
  • Eugene Half Marathon-2:51:22, Average pace 13'05"
  • No Limits Fun Run 5K-33:56, Average pace 10'54"
  • Take Me Out to the Ballpark 5K-41:43, Average pace 13'25"
  • Cascade Lakes Relay
    • Leg 1-7.5 miles, average pace 12'46"
    • Leg 2-5.3 miles, average pace 15'00"
    • Leg 3-2.09 miles, average pace 13'32"
  • Last Chance Sprint Triathlon
    • Swim (750 yards) 27:42
      • Transition 1 6:07
    • Bike (12.5 miles) 57:24
      • Transition 2 3:26
    • Run (5K) 38:28
    • Total Time: 2:13:05
  • Runaway Pumpkin Half Marathon 2:47:31, average pace 12'47"
  • Silver Falls Half Marathon 3:28:42 Average pace 15'55"
  • Turkey Trot-3.75 miles 44:02 Average pace 11'54"
  • Ugliest Christmas Sweater Run/Walk 5K Not a timed event.  :-)  
Wow!  I am looking at that list and I have to say that I'm proud of all I have accomplished this past year.  Not every run was good.  Many training runs were bad and many races were just plain awful.  But I did them.

I was looking through my information on my Nike+ app and decided to look at where I started and see if there was any difference between the beginning year of running and this year.  In 2010 I started running in June (barely running, more like wheezing, pain, life-threatening attempts to round the track). In July of that year I got the Nike+ sensor for my shoes and began tracking the numbers.

Year One-The Beginning 2010

 Year Two-2011

Year Three-2012

Year Four-The Current Year

I was a very happy camper today when I got home from my hike and knew that I had reached my goal for getting 700 miles in one year.  So much fun to do it with a hike with a good friend.  Since I'm usually a solitary runner because of my speed (or lack thereof) I enjoying hiking with friends and getting the social part in.  :-)  That has been something I have enjoyed a great deal this past year as well.

I met a lot of my goals for the year.  I didn't come close to others.  Made progress towards figuring out the tired problem, although not quite in the way I wanted.  I lost 38 pounds in one year.  That is a little over a half a pound a week.  Not the results I was hoping to get considering the amount of miles I put in.  I want the outside to reflect the inside and all the effort I'm putting in.  Everyone from my husband and my doctor to my friends and co-workers assure me that I'm heading in the right direction.  That's fine but I would like to be heading there a little bit faster.  I still feel like I'm on the stupid treadmill and going nowhere fast!  Ugh!  I thought when I started getting active three and a half years ago that I would get into shape and lose weight and get all sorts of energy.  Life was going to be awesome if I could just get past the first few months.  I am no where close to where I thought I would be by now.  Sometimes it's very hard to look in the mirror and still see the fat girl.  And I know that makes my friends and family mad at me but that's what I still see.  Yes, I have changed this past year, yes, I have made progress.  I realize that.  But I'm still obese.  I'm still fat.  I am still a very long way from where I want to be.  There are times when I wonder if I'm ever going to be able to look in mirror and see the healthy person I want to be.  Seems very elusive at times.  At this point I have to keep making goals and moving forward because going back to where I was is not an option.

Goals for 2014:
  1. Run the Hangover Run with an average pace of under 12 minute miles.  
  2. Run 1000 miles during the year.  
  3. Do an Olympic Triathlon.
  4. Ride at least 50 miles in the Tour de Cure.
  5. Do a 5K in 30 minutes.
  6. Do a half marathon with an average pace of under 12 minute miles.  
  7. Lose 50 pounds.
  8. Learn how to eat to accommodate my pre-diabetes and gluten intolerance.
Some of those goals are going to be very doable.  Some of those goals are reaching.  But I figure I have to try, that's what goals are for.

This is my favorite scene from the movie "Meet the Robinsons"  I watched it with my 6th graders last week and it was a good reminder of what I need to do.  Quit focusing on what I see as failures and realize that I learn from the unsuccessful times to get better for the successful times.

2013 was about committing, really committing to becoming a healthier me.  No more wishy washy, half-assed efforts.

2014 is about moving forward.  Even though things haven't gone like I envisioned and I haven't met many of the goals I thought I would by now I am going to keep moving forward.  Now I get to take the foundation I have made this past year and do even better.  I can't wait to see where I'm at at the end of the year.

Before I finish off the year I want to say thank you to a few people that have helped me this past year.
  • Thank you to all my family who have encouraged me this past year.  Brothers and sisters, sisters-in-law (Teresa, you rock!) and all of my parents.  And many other cousins, aunts and uncles and distant relations that have liked posts and said good job along the way.  Every single time it has made me smile.  
  • Thank you to my friends and co-workers.  Aren't I lucky to have co-workers that are friends?  Both from old jobs and current jobs I have a lot of people that I am surrounded by at work who have been super encouraging and supportive as I try to balance out my life and my health.  
  • Thank you to all the people who have patiently read my silly little blog and have been interested in what I am up to.   Seems weird to me that people actually read what I'm up to and are interested.  :-)   
  • Thank you to my kids.  My two older kids just think that it is a given that I will do what I set out to do.  That is an amazing gift to have that unwavering belief directed at me.  You two rock!  Miss Meighan gets a big Thank you as the youngest of the kids because she is the one living with the day to day craziness that is her mother.  And she goes out and does hikes and triathlons with me.  I'm looking forward to many years of events to share with you!  
  • Thank you to the Dwayne and Faylene.  Faylene is my bestie and was the first one to say "You got this" when I started on the running journey three and a half years ago. Never once have you and Dwayne been anything less than super supportive!  Joe and I treasure your friendship!  
  • Thank you to the new friends in my life Josh, Wendie and Betsy.  Wow!  What an amazing addition to my life, right when I needed it.  You are all amazing and you are now stuck with me!  Thanks for all the advice and support this past year.  Betsy, especially this past month as I wrap my head around a new lifestyle.  You guys rock!
  • My biggest thank you is to my amazing husband Joe.  Wow!  Can't do any of this without you.  Thank you honey for being my biggest cheerleader.  Knowing that you believe in me has made all the difference.  Can't quit when I know you are there to help me through!  You never make me feel inadequate or that my accomplishments are less than yours.  That is an amazing gift from anyone, it's extra special when it's from my partner in life!  I love you!!!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Starting Over

I get frustrated with starting over.  I hate it when I don't run for awhile and then when I do it isn't fun.  Everything hurts, I'm sooooo slow and in general I'm not a happy camper.  I know it is my own fault.  I know that if I didn't stop I wouldn't be so miserable.  But life happens.  Sometimes I really am busy with work, family and kids.  Sometimes I'm so tired when I get home that if I sit down then I don't go again.  There are concerts to attend for the kids, Christmas shopping to be done, groceries to pick up, bills to pay and the list goes on and on.

This week I had said I was going to get back to my runs, no excuses.  Then it snowed.  lol

Usually around here when it snows it's a big deal.  That's because it snows a couple of inches (if we are lucky) it's here for a day, school is canceled, everyone plays and has a great time and then by the next day it all melts away.  This time it didn't melt away.  Not only that we had way more than two inches.  We had about five outside our house and other areas nearby had even more.  We had no school on Friday.  Saturday and Sunday were still really cold and the snow didn't melt at all.  Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday we had no school!  It was crazy!  I got a lot done.  Caught up on grading, got ahead on my homework, decorated my house for Christmas and took naps.  :-)

I did not, however, run.  It was slick outside and I just couldn't bring myself to run on the treadmill.  So I made excuses and didn't go.  Partly because I'm just sure that if I had tried to run outside I would have fallen and broken something, that's just things work for me so I didn't want to risk it.

Thursday night the temperatures warmed up and the rain came.  Friday morning the roads were slushy but manageable.  By the time I got home from school there was very little snow left.  A few piles of snow in parking lots or shaded areas and the gravel on the road left from when they sanded the roads.

Since now I really had no excuse I went for my run.  It wasn't fun.  I just did a 5K and my left knee hurt, my right IT band hurt, I was slow and it was a struggle.  My stomach acting up and I felt a bit pukey the whole time. But I went.

That night I was whining to my friend Betsy, who has been a great source of encouragement and support as I wrap my mind around the new life that is coming my way.  We were talking about a biking event that she will be participating in next summer called the Tour de Cure that is a fundraiser for the American Diabetes Association.  Last summer Betsy asked us if we would be willing to ride with her to support her next summer.  Of course we said yes.  Joe was planning to ride 100 miles and I was going to do a minimum of 25 miles and maybe longer depending on my training by then.  Betsy pointed out on Friday that next summer we both would be riding as part of the Tour de Cure.  I said that I don't have diabetes yet and she said pre-diabetes counted and I was on the team.  Shit, I don't want to be on the team.  I want to be on the support team.  I don't want this.  That really made me sit back and really say, wow, this is real and it's not going away.

Saturday I went for my long run.  I decided to keep it between seven and eight miles since I hadn't been running consistently for a month and not at all for two weeks.  It was even uglier than Friday's run.  I was slow!  I haven't run that slow since last winter.  Everything hurt worse than the night before.  And I felt pukey, again.  I think that might be from the Metformin and I'm really hoping that is not my new reality while I run.  Not fun to be taking a medication to help me be healthier in one area of my life and have it make it difficult to keep being healthy in the other parts of my life.

I spent the first two miles being pissed.  I was pissed at having to take medication that makes me feel crummy.  I was pissed that I have to take the medication at all.  I was pissed at myself for not keeping at my running because I HATE starting over and how it makes me feel.  I was pissed that I am qualify to be part of Tour de Cure instead of a supporter for someone else.  I was just pissed.

I'm running along and I'm thinking about all the times this past year I have had to "start over".  Really only twice, the end of June when I had only run about 20ish miles in May and 20ish miles in June.  Then how I've struggled through the end of October and all of November.  Not great but not as bad as I was making it seem in my own head.

Then I had an "Ah Ha" moment.  Every time that I have stopped running or lost my focus I have eventually started over.  Which means that I'm not a quitter.  I may wallow for awhile but at some point I pull on my big girl panties and start over.  And you know what?  That's pretty Baddass.....with sparkle!

I realized that I'm a Badass because every time I start over I'm proving that I won't give up.

Suddenly I wasn't pissed anymore.  I still had about four miles to go on my run.  I wasn't getting any faster, if anything I was slowing down even more.  I just decided to enjoy the run and work on my breathing and my posture.  I managed 7.3 miles.  It wasn't pretty and I hurt all over when I got home but, again, I did it.

Today I was invited to participate in an Ugly Sweater Run/Walk.  It was not timed, I'm not even sure why we were given bib numbers to wear.  :-)  There were four of us that were going together and we all had our ugly sweaters on and blinking Rudolf noses to wear as well.  And we were relatively mild in our outfits.  There were some very entertaining and creative outfits.  Along the route they were supposed to have stations for all of the 12 Days of Christmas.   They were missing a few but we took pictures at all the ones they did have.

Getting Ready to Run!  :-)  I don't think it is possible to stay pissy when you are wearing a blinky nose!
When we first got started I took off and ran for a bit because I had gotten chilled and wanted to warm up faster than I could if I was walking.  I ran for about a mile and it felt good.  Nothing hurt and I had a pace of about 12'30" even though it felt like I wasn't going any faster than I had the day before.  I wasn't trying to go fast either so I was pretty happy at that point.  When the other ladies caught up to me we walked the rest of the way.  It was supposed to be a 5K but was just over 2.5 miles.  That's okay.  We had a lot of fun and I'm really glad I went.

The 12 Days of Christmas (The short version)

Good friend and co-worker!  Another one of the many friend blessings in my life! 
This weekend wasn't about running fast or making huge improvements.  This weekend was about just going.  About being grateful that I can go.  About remembering that I need to have fun along the way.  And being VERY, VERY, VERY grateful that I have it pretty good. :-)

We will see how this next week goes but even if it doesn't goal well......I'm willing to start over....again.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Change is Coming

Change is hard.  Change that comes because I am forced to change is even harder.  I hate being told I have to do something.

My doctor's visit to follow up on my blood tests is bringing change.  Not life threatening change but change.

My doctor ran several blood tests.  Some to see if I had allergies or intolerances and then some were a repeat of tests that he ran last year so that he could see if there had been any changes, good or bad.

Change #1.  It seems that my AIC number has gone up.  This is the number that they look at to determine if someone is diabetic.  The way that they have patients get this number to go down is to lose weight and exercise regularly.  I have done both this past year and the number has gone up.  Not a lot but it shouldn't have gone up at all.  So, my doctor, while very kind was also very blunt, informed me that it isn't a matter of if I get diabetes but when I get diabetes.  Well, shit! Not what I wanted to hear.  Doc wants me to cut all simple sugars.

Change #2. I don't have outdoor allergies, which is a blessing living in Oregon.   I also don't have any major food allergies.  However I did ping for celiac which means that I have a gluetin intolerance.  My doctor didn't feel it was a full blown allergy but thinks it wouldn't hurt to start eating with this in mind and being more aware of what I'm eating that has gluten and reducing it.

The week before Thanksgiving and my doctor is telling me that I need to cut sugar out of my diet and reduce gluten.  Happy holidays to me!  I told him that I was absolutely willing to make these changes but probably wouldn't go hard core on it until after Christmas.  He agreed that that was a reasonable plan.  I just felt that I would be a crabby bitch to my family if I had to make these changes right now.  That is never fun for anyone, especially over the holidays.

To be perfectly honest I have been having a difficult time dealing with this.  I know it's not cancer or anything immediately life-threatening.  But it is life-changing.  And those changes are going to affect my husband and daughter because somethings I just won't be able to have in the house.  I feel badly about this.

Step one right now was to put me on a medication called Metformin.  This is to help with the pre-diabetes.  My doctor is usually not one to prescribe pills so when this was his suggestion I knew he was serious about the diabetes.  I started taking the pills on the day before Thanksgiving, just one a day.  One of the side effects is that my gut isn't doing too great.  (I'll leave it at that)  Which isn't too fun.  I haven't run since Thanksgiving day.  When I get home from work I am tired and feel like I need to puke.  Not very motivating to get out there and exercise.  This weekend I started taking a second pill in the evening.  So far it hasn't made me feel worse than before with only one pill.  Overall I think it's starting to get a little better.

My friend Betsy says that it does get better so that is good to know.  I'm very blessed to have a friend that has been through this and is wiling to share her experiences.  Not that I'm glad that she had to have this experience too, just that she gets what I'm going through and is super encouraging.

I have been spending my time working my mind around this.  On the one hand I know that it isn't the end of the world.  But I really don't like change and I really like food.  I like candy and crackers and things that are yummy and trying to imagine the rest of my life where I have to think about every bite I put in my mouth and how it's going to make me feel or how it will affect my diabetes (to come) is a bit overwhelming.

I plan to get out and run this next week, no matter what.  No excuses.  I needed a bit of time to wallow and feel sorry for myself.  That is over.  Time to do something about it.

I was frustrated that the A1C number had gone up when I have spent the past 11 months working out and losing weight.  But doc pointed out that it had only gone up slightly and that if I hadn't been doing what I did the past year the number would have done up way more and I could be well on my way to being diabetic sooner rather than later.

Also, the Metformin is also good for Poly-Cystic Ovary Syndrome.  Doc thinks that some of my other issues might be that (hormone imbalance, tiredness, etc.)  We are hoping that once things even out a bit the medication could help with my tiredness which would be awesome.

When I started this journey into figuring out why I'm tired all the time and trying to become healthy I asked God to make it something that was an easy fix. "Here's a pill, everything is fine."  Not "Here's a pill and also it will make you feel crappy.  Oh and you have to completely overhaul how you eat."

Now I am pulling on my big girl panties and start acting like a reasonable adult about this.  The world is not ending, I'm not dying, everything is fine.  I just have to change my thinking a bit and I will be healthier than ever.  Right?  Right!

This meme showed up yesterday on the Favorite Run Community Facebook page.  Seemed like it was posted just for me.

Evidently I am strong enough.

I haven't run in over a week.  But I have working out my brain and emotions so I think that I'm okay.  Tomorrow will be the start of a new week and I'll be working at getting back at it.  I never realized how many twists and turns this journey was going to have.  I thought it was going to be a straight line from where I was to the size I wanted to be.  Evidently it needs to be a more interesting journey than that.

Thanks for letting me vent.