Tuesday, January 28, 2014

It's Happening Again

It's happening again! I have gained 8 pounds since October. I'm tired--- All. The. Time. My skin and scalp are really dry. I can't sleep.  I have acne like I did when I was 16 years old. I knew I needed some help.

I was actually excited for my appointment. My regular NP at the Endocrinologist office left, so I had been assigned someone new. I really liked my last NP (Amy) but I was sure to like to the new one too. I visited the vampire like I usually do, and two weeks later was my appointment. I hoped to finally start to get some relief from these symptoms. The new NP (Jean) said hello, and took me to the dreaded scale. It was horrifying. I was 204 pounds. I haven't been this heavy in years! Next, Jean checked my blood pressure. It was at a really healthy level. Something like 120/60. Then Jean quickly, and I mean quickly, scanned my history. She checked my test results. This time my blood work isn't reflective of my symptoms. She said my TSH was still low but she didn't want to decrease (!!!!!!) my Synthroid intake just yet. I am at 175 mcg right now. She didn't ask any questions. I told her that I was tired all the time, had gained weight, dry scalp and dry hair. Since she wasn't adjusting my thyroid replacement hormone, I had hoped she might have some other suggestions. I was wrong! She never listened to my heart. She never felt my neck. Never asked me any questions. The entire appointment took maybe 7 minutes. My co-pay is $30 but I know the cost of that appointment was somewhere at $180 or so. For 7 minutes of terrible service. I called the doctor in charge and left a message. I got a call back the next day from the receptionist stating they had switched me from Jean back to the doctor (Susan). My next appointment is at the end of April. Some solution.

So here I am. Watching powerlessly as my body repeats itself. I'm feeling helpless. What can you do when your blood tests don't reveal the stress and symptoms your body exhibits?  Not much apparently. You just have to wait until April when your doctor can fit you in again.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Trotting my way to a new and fabulous PR

November 24, 2011

I woke up early today to put the ham in the oven and prepare my last pie for our Thanksgiving Feast. I also had my Pikes Peak YMCA Turkey Trot 5k race. I say my race because I killed it today! As soon as me, Patrick, and our fan club pulled into the parking lot, I saw that this was a much larger race than I expected. My October 5k, the Creepy Crawl had a comfortable 300 runners or so.

My goal for today was to improve my last 5k time of 44:25 by one minute, which was the fastest I have ever been. I realize that my “fast” time would be disappointing to many but it is exhilarating for me to know how far I have come. As we walked to registration, I was happy to see what appears to be a wide variety of runners; young girls and boys with their families, young adults, parents, and several grandparents too. Many families were running this race together, so I decided right then to drag my entire crew here next year.

I read on the race website that they would have chip timing at this race. What that was, I had no idea, but I found out it is a wonderful invention. After I stood in line for at least 10 minutes, we were given our race shirt, goodie bag, and a square piece of plastic with four small holes in the corner. I shyly ask what the square was for and was told this was my chip, an electronic device that records my start and finish time exactly when I cross the line. The holes were to zip tie the chip to my shoe.

There were nearly 3,000 runners at this race, so we were told to line up where our pace marker was. I found the seven minute mile pace marker, then the eight, and kept walking farther away from the start line. I finally saw the ten minute marker, expecting to see my marker of 11 minutes, but right after ten was a marker for “walkers.” Ugh, I felt my stomach drop. I run so slow that I am in the same wave as the walkers. So I decide to stand just between the 10 minute and the walker marker.

When the air horn went off, I was suddenly clausterphobic. People were everywhere and some as close as my elbows. Thankfully as we crossed the start line, we were able to spread out some. Although the day started out to be a chilly 35 degrees, it was a beautiful sunny day. I had started my own stop watch and was surprised to see my time at 14 mintes at the half way point. My race was going very well. Feeling a little tired at mile two, I walked for a minute to catch my breath.

This route had more hills than I was used to. At last, I see the finish line and the clock reads 40 and counting. This was a fabulous time for me and my adrenline kicked in. I booked the last one quarter mile and was smiling at my family and pleased with my time of nearly 41 minutes as I crossed the finish line. I talked with my father, who is also a runner,  and he encouraged me and said that with just a little more training he thought I could break 40 minutes in my next race.

After gathering our free food and drinks, we made our way home to check on the ham. Just before we left for dinner at my sister’s house, I checked the YMCA website and find out my placing. I was schocked at how much more accurate the chip timing was. My actual chip time was 39:48. I did it! I was under 40 minutes AND got a PR (Personal Record) that knocked 4:37 off! So, on this day of Thanksgiving, I am thankful for a number of things: my family, my job, my opportunies, and my health. The rest of the day was a blur for me because I kept pinching myself, expecting to wake up from my dream of shattering my PR.

An Inspiring Friend

November 8, 2011

I have talked about Carla is several of my blog posts, so I think that I need to really introduce all my readers to her. She has her own blog as well. You can read her blog at http://onmywaycarla.blogspot.com. She actually started her New Year’s Resolution in January. Her lofty goal is to lose 100 pounds in one year.

Carla will tell you that she got sick of being the “fat girl” all her life and that she really wants to become a mom. As the year is coming to a close, I want to tell all my readers about the inspiration that Carla has become. So far, Carla has lost a whopping 83 pounds.

She did not have a nutritionist and she only used a trainer for a short time. Carla tried several different things to see what worked for her; lifting weights, Biggest Loser on the Wii, using a trainer, strict dieting, hiking, zumba, and running. As you may have guessed from my previous entries, running was one of the things that work for her. She has become one of my running buddies. She also began running in May, so it has been really great having someone to talk with and keep me on track.

Carla is bigger than me, currently by about 30 pounds or so, but she has ALWAYS been faster than me. She has been so motivated and dedicated to her weight loss and goals that she has become an inspiration to me.

It must have been very difficult for her to take this leap toward better health. She has tales of horrible things strangers have said to her, but she chose to use their unkind words to strengthen her resolve. Thankfully she has also heard many uplifting words and has great support from her husband, friends, and family. The best thing about Carla’s weight loss so far? Her doctor has giver her the go ahead to conceive. My amazing friend will one day get to be an amazing mother.

Cooler Weather Slows Motivation

October 14, 2011

          As the weather gets a little cooler and snow is impending, I must find a way to stay motivated. I absolutely hate running on the “dread-mill” and really want to be able to run outside year round. I know that there will be some days with ice that could make it dangerous and will force me into the gym, but I love the feel of running outside. The breeze in your face, the different smells in the air, and knowing you are covering ACTUAL distance is helpful.

Who wants to layer up and run in the snow? I’m not sure that I am there yet and I really want to recapture the feelings I had last month about being involved in the Dirty Girl Mud Run. So, I have decided that I will find a 5k every month to run in. This will motivate me to train, help a charity each month, and I get an awesome shirt that yells out “runner” to everyone I see when I wear it.

I have chosen some fun runs that are still timed, so I can still set some goals. My next race is on Oct. 29 and is called the Creepy Crawl. I get to run in my Halloween costume. After that, I have the Turkey Trot on Nov. 24 before I gorge myself like every American does on Thansgiving Day. To finish out the year I have the Jingle Bell on Dec. 10. Costumes are encouraged in this race too, but somehow I don’t see myself running with any of the following on: bells, beard, or elf ears.

Each of these races benefit a specific area’s YMCA, a great organization that helps many. I will add pictures after each race.

Creepy Crawl (Iwas Coach Sue from Glee)

Turkey Trot 5k
Jingle Bell 5k

Inspiration is Every Where

October 10, 2011

            I’ve mentioned before how important getting support has been in my running journey. My husband is encouraging and never complains about my already limited time being used for running or about the cost of building up my stock of running gear. I get great compliments and encouragement online from friends and family, both near and far. Once a month, I get a new issue of Runners World, which is full of inspiration.

On the Daily Mile website, I get to track my total distance, hours, TV’s powered, donuts burned, gas saved, and number of times around the world (0 for me thus far). My newest inspiration comes from a FaceBook group page called I <3 about="about" advice="advice" and="and" gear="gear" inspirational="inspirational" o:p="o:p" on="on" people="people" post="post" questions="questions" run.="run." stories.="stories." to="to" training="training">

I am looking forward to losing a toenail from so much running and I know one day my schedule will allow it. Crazy and gross, I know, but to a runner it means that you have reached a level of miles that has a very strong physical impact. One of my favorite things on this Facebook group page though, is the cool photos that people post. Some are funny, some inspirational, but all are impactful. I have posted a few of my favorites below. Enjoy them and as you are looking, think about how much you want to run now.

A Dirty Girl and Proud Of It

September 24, 2011

           Today is my first “real” race. I registered for the Dirty Girl Mud Run a few months ago, knowing that I would never back out once I paid my $65 registration fee. According to the website www.godirtygirl.com, the run is a female-only, 5K mud run designed for women of all fitness levels.

The 11 military-inspired obstacles are fun and unique but with just enough hell to keep your palms a bit sweaty. And the entire event is designed to be organic and eco-friendly. In fact, many of the obstacles will be recycled back into the earth. A portion of the proceeds go to breast caner research, so I feel good about that too.

Choosing my first 5k to be a non-competetive and untimed race was VERY intentional. I wanted my first big race experience to be fun. So, what better way than to roll around in the mud with some friends? Again, my incredible family came out to support me and the team; my parents, both my sisters, and their husbands and kids. I felt like I had a huge fan club.

A few weeks ago I was able to run my first 5k distance. I felt prepared and SO excited for this run. I could hardly stand the excitement and was like a child and unable to sleep.

The route was muddy (obviously), my knees and palms are skinned, I had mud in places it should never be. But I feel a contentment that I have rarely experienced in my adult life.

It took us about an hour and 15 minutes to complete the course leasurely. Strangers were cheering us on throughout. Girls and women of all ages were encouraging everyone, teammates or not. It was an incredible experience and I am so pumped up about running! I think I’ll go ahead and run tomorrow and forget my “rest” day.

 Team Down and Dirty Dames                                    A perfect shot of me getting “dirty”
                                         Delicious Sangrias awaited us at the finish line

Finally a Real Runner

August 12, 2011

          Today, I DID IT!!!! I am finally a runner. I ran my entire route this morning without walking or stopping even once. It has taken me a while to get here, but I made it. Woot woot! I am so excited and I feel like I can finally call myself a runner.

Even though I move at a snail’s pace and I think walkers could probably pass me, I feel great about this! I still have terrible form and sort of shuffle rather than run, but I am getting better and FINALLY starting to lose weight. Just 8 lbs, but losing 8 lbs has never felt so gratifying to me.

So, as a reward for becoming a runner and for losing 8 lbs, I am subscribing to Runner’s World magazine. I love that this magazine does not cater to only one type of runner. I think both beginners and experts can learn something from every issue. They have information on gear, techniques, diets, stories, race info, and all kinds of fun stuff! I can hardly wait to get my first issue with my name on it. I think maybe I’ll tell them my middle name is “a runner” so that it gets printed on the label. Think they’d mind?