Bye, August, hello September

Well, we open up a new month by heading into double-digit mileage, something I have been quietly dreading.  Now begins the real work….in the heat….still.  Sunday’s run was 11 and I knew I had to get a jump on the morning to get it all done comfortably(relative term for sure).  It was 81 when I woke up, honestly I have run in warmer temps, and I was more worried about all my friends running out in Anaheim….they were getting the same heat to start their Disneyland Half Marathon.  I got up super early(3:30)and was ready to go by 4, wore a cooling towel, chucked as much ice in my Camelbak as would fit, and got going.    It was gross out.  Humidity up, but hey, what can you do?  What you do is go slow……just get the miles in.  My goal was to stay under a 16 minute mile, never get out of breath and finish it before the sun made things awful…..not something my running friends could do in California.  It would turn out to be a miserable race for most of them.

I have been running my long runs without music, just listening to the Be Our Guest podcast, which I love for 2 reasons:  I go slower with no tunes, and it feels like they are running with me….lol  Running with buddies is always much better than solo!  I don’t know why but these miles went by really fast…..I expanded the size of my square in my neighborhood, and that helped some, even though I had to double back on my first loop due to construction on my route. A stop for a tea at Starbucks was a welcome break, and that is when all my technology went all wonkie.  I don’t know what happened….my watch was all messed up all morning….it was acting as if it wasn’t paired to my phone, and then mapmyrun decided to update………it was weird. I never did find out what was going on…..  I ran fasted, just starting the day with an Americano with some steamed heavy cream(sooooo good)  About mile 5 I started to get a little hungry, I ate one Figgy Pop bite…..I never felt tired or lost energy, just got a little hungry.

Right before I stopped at Starbucks I tried my other new fueling option, a small little tub of Barney almond butter, with coconut and cocoa.  OMG.  So yummy, but a tad messy….good thing I had my cooling towel.  I think that the individual packets might be a better option, though I worry about getting them open with my cranky wrists during the latter part of a long run.

Mile 10 I was trying to figure out what was going on with the watch/phone…..they were nearly a mile off, according to my apple watch I should be done, mapmyrun said otherwise. ….when suddenly my ear buds unpaired from my phone, my watch rebooted itself.  UGH….on the last mile??  well, maybe it was better than the first….I probably would have gone home.  So, I cued up my Spotify playlist of Hamilton and just ran without earbuds.  I was pretty determined for mapmyrun to tell me I reached 11.  DONE. Some thoughts:  this 11 felt good, the only thing that got tired/sore was my feet.  Legs(including that hamstring that gave me trouble)felt strong, my ankle was talking to me, but not til about mile 9, and it pretty much stayed at the same level of crankiness.  My brain never got in my way.  No dark, negative thoughts…..probably because of the podcast….  My energy level was even, steady.  And today I feel pretty good!  Slept in compression socks, and actually walked 3 miles this morning!  So the verdict on this one?     Awesome!  I ate well, hydrated well and paced myself perfect for the weather.  The next one brings us up a level, adding a 4 mile walk the day before I tackle a 13 mile run. EEK.  That said, if I can get close to how nice this 11 felt, dare I say I think I just may be able to pull this off?  Nope.  Let’s wait til we get a little deeper into the training schedule……….

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It is Week 7 already!!

Week 7?!!  How did that happen?  I knew it was going to happen this way…..every year once we hit July 4th it seems like we board the bullet train headed straight to the holidays.  Buckle up, here we go!

I have promised myself I will get better about documenting this Dopey journey as we head to double-digit mileage, since nothing remarkable has happened during training.  Distance was 7 miles this week, a milestone I have hit quite a bit over the last 6 months or so, so no big surprises.  I have a 3 miler on the schedule next weekend, but the 9 that follows it begins the real work.  I do have some random thoughts I wanted to get out though, and decided a quick update was in order.

Starbucks is kicking my Dopey training butt.  We completed our transition to our new drive thru store, it is gorgeous….but our sales are about double what they were in my cute little cafe store…so stinkin busy.  All the time, every day.  Drive thru is definitely a game changer, as is the closing of our closest neighbor for renovations.  YIKES.  So yeah, I am tired.  The midweek runs are tough.  Dragging myself over to Tumbleweed is so hard.  I can not sit down when I get home, I just have to take care of the doggies and change and GO.  Thursday is worse than Tuesday.   The past 2 Thursdays I had only been able to squeak out 30 minutes before I had to stop and just walk the rest of the time….I am just done.  I know my body will adapt as we go along and I will get used to craziness of the day.  I  hope.

There are a couple things going really well though, despite how tired I am.  I have kept up my strength training, and while it is just one afternoon a week, I think it really has improved my running…..not in speed, mind you,(I will never be faster than a turtle), but my strength and comfort while I run.  I feel stronger, things don’t hurt, and my recovery time is crazy fast.  I ran 7 yesterday, and I am not in the least bit sore this morning.  This has got to be the strength workouts along with picking a good easy pace…..which I think I have finally done.

Second?  My weight is awesome!  Yes, I just typed that.  Me,  the queen of scale fixation is happy.  I am still working with a lower carb higher fat diet, and while I am slightly disappointed I didn’t lose more(lol….I really didn’t lose anything), my endurance with little or no fueling is great, and that was really what I hoped to gain from LCHF.  We shall how this works going forward as the mileage ramps up in September.  I need to figure out a fuel source, and I have a few differnet things to try.  I ran the 7 fasted and felt just fine, my pace was slow and even, but I never lost energy, and that right now is my goal.  Tom and I went to Huntington Beach a couple weeks ago (it was GORGEOUS), I ate what I wanted and really didn’t worry about it, came back 3 pounds heavier, but it went away within the week back…..no damage done.  I think I am finally really happy with my diet lifestyle.

See? Nothing terrible remarkable going on, which at this point I think is perfect……no pain, save for a little adductor soreness that I am trying to stretch out.  My feet are good, no PF, just a little soreness in my cranky ankle……absolutely nothing like what I dealt with in 2015!  Asthma is good, and I someone avoided the usual “here is Spring sinus infection.”  Things are so good, it makes me afraid and really optimistic at the same time. Pam and I are doing this.  REALLY.  We texted just this morning about what kind of crazy people go on vacation to runner 48 miles?  Well,  we do!  LOL  One step, one race, one day at a time. The challenge is to stay focused as the year rolls along, through all the holdays and craziness they bring.  Here is Sunday’s run (and what I posted in the Lizard group), hopefully all my long runs will leave me feeling as good.  Til next time!

#lizardturtlerunsDopey

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Hmmm…..let’s go eat some fat

Sound good?  No?  Well, it is good!  I have been a nutritional journey for years and years.  I need to preface this post by saying this is not meant to preach or belittle or confuse anyone.  This is what I am doing, this is what works for me, my body right now. Every body is different, nutritional needs are different and respond to food differently……I am not an expert  AT ALL.  I would never begin to tell anyone how to eat or what would work for you. Whew, glad I got that all out!   I decided about 4 years ago I was done with crazy dieting, done with counting, done being a slave to the scale(still working on that).  A blog post about “The Whole 30” intrigued me.  I wasn’t quite ready for that leap way back then, but I was really interested in a more whole foods/nothing processed approach.  I read everything I could get my hands on about the Paleo lifestyle.  No sugar, no grains, no dairy…..you all know….lol.  Shannon Bailey told me about someone she knew (Dean Lorey)who just finished a book with a fitness expert and my world was NSNG (no sugar no grain)life was now validated.

Fitness Confidential

It is an awesome read, and Vinnie’s podcast is hysterical and very informative,  I had found my peeps!  Sometime in 2014 I completed a Whole 30, in fact quite a few.  I stayed NSNG about 98 percent of the time.  Gone was the joint pain, my asthma improved, I got off my weekly shots, and yes I dropped a few pounds.  I was happy with how far I’d come, 2016 brought my first full and I found training hard, feeding a marathoner even harder.  The nutritional advice swings all over the place:  eat lots of carbs, stay away from fat, eat sugary gels……on and on.  I tried to watch what I ate, but always felt I needed lots of carbs for energy despite all the testimony of all the “fat adapted” athletes on Vinnie’s podcast……how can they possibly do an ultra on almond butter, bacon and water??  Don’t I need good starchy carbs? heck I even ate a lot of white rice.  I tried to watch the sugar in my race fuel.  I used Hammer products, specifically their Perteptuem, very similar to the popular Tailwind, since it is a food replacement drink along with electrolytes, just a lot lower in sugar.  I used Huma gels and Mama Chia fruit packs and I was good to go, drinking one or the other starting at mile 4 or so, and about every two miles after that.  I have never felt great running, (just like the bling lol)but I felt I did a good job fueling and trying to stay on top of hydration.  I still found myself jealous of those “fat adapted” people who could run on much less and feel awesome.

Did I mention I read  a lot?  Well, its true. I read and watch so much nutrition related material.  I stumbled across a YouTube channel:  Healthful Pursuit I swear I sometimes find the BEST things there.  I found out about run/walk/run on Derek Ralston’s page.  Anyway, Leanne was great, totally relatable and a great resource and for some reason what she talked about just struck me.(the same way I felt about reading Fitness Confidential 4 years ago).  I just decided to dive in.  Cut the carbs, up my fat.  I am not going to say I was 100%percent onboard, and I am not going to lie and say I am 100% there yet.  If I were doing this for medical reasons I think it would be different, but I am not.  I am human.  I still love french fries and a good IPA at a Diamondbacks game, but I am really trying to eat KETO, basically a low carb, high fat diet.  Have I lost weight?  Nope not a pound.  But do I really have weight to lose?  As much as I would love to weigh 7 pounds less(only because that has been my goal FOR YEARS)my weight has been stable for about a year.  Nothing much changes it, and hey, I feel stronger than I ever felt before, so it is all good.  Okay, so what has cutting the carbs actually done for me?

I am never ravenous anymore.  I can go 6 or 7 hours without a meal.  My energy level is pretty even.  No cravings.  None.  While I have managed to slay my sugar demon a couple years ago, I still sometimes craved it.  Nothing now.  Most days I don’t even think about food, which for me is CRAZY.  I stay pretty low carb all day, eat lots of healthy fat (lots of avocados!)and insert some starchy carbs at dinner to aid with sleep.  So far, so good.  I started this to aid in running endurance, so how is that going?  I ran 7 miles on Sunday, nice and easy and did it fasted(just a coffee in the morning with some collagen powder and a bit of MCT oil)and I felt terrific.  I have noticed my mind is happier when I run…no dark woe is me thoughts creep in.  I started to get a little hungry by the end of this run, so this may be my threshold for adding a little something, but I never lost energy or got disheartened by my own head.  It was hot too.  My Camelbak was full of Heed by Hammer, and I just about drank it all.  But I didn’t eat a thing, and while I had packed a gel with me, I never even thought of eating it.  Am I finally fat adapted runner?  I think so…..time will tell.  But I do know I have never felt this good running that distance before, and recovery was super quick, no pain in anything at all.  (which is crazy to me!)  Lack of sugar in my diet helping with inflammation?  yeah, probably, and I will take it!! This is going to be my biggest experiment yet as I ramp up mileage next month when Dopey training begins, I am really curious to see what happens!  It is not the easiest way of eating….well, it really wasn’t that much of a transition for me, I was part way there already, but there is a lot of positive feedback in the medical world involving keto and lots of inflammatory or immune response diseases, so encouraging for folks struggling witht those issues, and worth the effort for me to rid my body of inflamation.  Check out Dr Terry Wahls, way back when I didn’t know anything about using food to heal I saw an article about her, and I remember admiring her spirit,  little did I know how much she would influence so many folks involved in nutrition and change so much of what we thought was true.  Okay, this blog post was kinda all over the place, just had a lot of thoughts I needed to set down,  🙂  Stay tuned…I will continue to post about my experiment as I get into Dopey training.  (EEK!!!)

Want a few things to read? no?  Lol.  Well, I am going to list a few anyway.  Here are a few:

The Keto Diet Leanne Vogel

Wired to Eat Rob Wolf

Practical Paleo Diane Sanfilippo

The Art and Science of Low Carb Living   Phinney and Volk

The Case Against Sugar  Gary Taubes

Keto Clarity  Jimmy Moore

The Obesity Code  Jason Fung

Here is my happy face after running 5 miles fasted a couple weeks ago.IMG_5067

I forgot a pic after the 7, I was more excited about my pretty skirt this week.  LOLIMG_5111

Still a turtle, but a much happier one!  🙂   Official Dopey training starts next month(EEEKKKK!!)  So excited and terrified, and now fat adapted, let’s see where we go!

Well, hello.  Pardon me….but I am laughing hysterically right now.  Did you notice I have a new countdown?  BWAHHH.  Okay, sorry, it is just pretty darn funny to write this after I just reread my post from this time last year.  UHHHH……I can explain!  LOL.  So maybe we should recap, been a little while between posts(uh, like a year, Donna?!)…and then I will explain.  It involves one word:  Pamela.  🙂

But more of that later….I ran The Dumbo Double Dare last fall, and it was a GREAT weekend, so much fun.  That is a race that I would do again without even thinking about it.  Maybe it was the company…maybe it was all the in the park course time, whatever it was it just plain fun.IMG_4163

Weekend full of old friends and new….and full of plans.  Pam and I hatched a plan to run the Mesa-Phoenix half to get proof of time for our January half. Ha ha…. make that Dopey?!!!   We got to meet and hang out with Jacque and have possibly the best meal of my life at Napa Rose.  Kirk was volunteering at the finish line, so so happy to see him.  🙂 Amazing memories.  Coast to Coast Medal!! Yeah, very proud of my bling here.IMG_4190Actual running performance?  10k?  Super easy, time flew.  I had trained really well for this challenge, despite being sick almost the whole month of June…..I had managed to catch up all my training….thanks to Jac and I felt super strong going into this.  Half time was my slowest not because I had problems, but someone we ran with did, so we walked and talked her through it.  Awesome day.

Next up was Rock and Roll training.  Jac and I partnered up for this one.  We were doing great, getting all our runs done, but I was starting to stress about trying to PR either at Rock and Roll, or at the Phoenix half….I really hoped for an under 3 hour half for POT for Disney.  Well, I am not meant to go faster than my turtle speed, cause, I got hurt in December.  Hamstring all weird, it still isn’t 100%.  ugh…..Rock and Roll was painful, and the whole time I was consumed with the fact that I had planned to do something crazy next January…….and here I couldn’t get through my favorite half marathon.  Not good.

I didn’t run much following that race, and held out hope that Pam and I could pull off an under three to give us a good time for …..yeah that race challenge that starts with the “D”……..lol still in denial. While it wasn’t under 3, it was a personal PR by 30 seconds.  🙂  I was happy!!  I got to run with Pam and Joey and we had a great time.  The hamstring was sore, but not as bad….not as bad as the cold that morning?? !!  That was probably a bad sign of the things to come.  I’ll save the Shamrock mess for another post…..I have lots to say about that adventure!

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So, now onto the real reason for this rather lengthy catch up…umm, yeah, so when your best friend in the whole world texts you one day in February and says….”hey…lets do something crazy…….let’s run Dopey.”….what do you do?  Scream?  Laugh?  Cry?  nope…..not any of these.  You just ask her one thing:  Are you sure you know what you are getting into?  When she answers: I think so…..that is when you scream, laugh and cry.   LOL

So, yes, the runner who said another full wasn’t in the cards is running Dopey.  A race each morning…..5k, 10k, half marathon and then yes, a full marathon.  Lord help me.  🙂  The difference this time?  I am running with Pam.  The thought scares the crap out of me, but the bigger emotion of knowing what crossing that line with her by my side will feel like sooooo outweighs the terror that I CAN NOT WAIT.   I have so much more to write about…so much going on right now, but that is enough confessing for one post.  I am taking it easy right now, short runs, getting some strength training in, I am back in the sweatshop again(aka Sumits…lol) all in preparation for the last week in June.  Scared to death…..but also very, very excited.

 

 

 

Time to catch up…and some Snow Patrol

Well, shoot,  my little blog is way overdo for an update.  I write mostly for me anyway….but quite a bit has happened since my Whole 30 post, so I figured today was a good day to check in.  Speaking of the Whole 30, it was a great experience!  I stayed on track the entire 30, despite the temptations in my life……really working around Starbucks frapuccinos and pastries is tough.  I didn’t lose a lot, I didn’t expect to, but I am down a weight I haven’t seen in a couple years, so I will take it!  The other positive is that I am still almost 100% dairy free!  I allow myself to have it if i make something that just really NEEDS cheese(chili, pizza)but I limit that to less than one time a!! week.  Oh, I ate the most amazing ice cream sandwich on my birthday!  OMG.  So good!!  I dream of it.  🙂  I will have another someday.  So food wise everything is good!  I don’t think losing any more weight is in the cards right now, and that is okay, I am in a good place.

I chose  2016 to be my marathon year about 2 years ago, totally random year.  I have now decided 2017 to be the year of halfs!  Right now I have 3 already scheduled….RNR Phoenix in January, Phoenix half in February, and then the Shamrock half in March!  Sadly, no Disney for next year….I don’t know how I am going to be able to stand it!!  Tuesday is marathon registration day!  Can you  believe its been a year!?  UGH.  So hard to watch Lizards racing in the World(but so much fun to chEAR too!)  I am very excited to get out to Virginia Beach to run with my marathon corral buddy, Christine Surh!  The course looks like so much fun, and running and spending the weekend with her will be awesome.  To run by the ocean?  YES to the YES!!  I hope I am not taking on a bit too much, I want to qualify for Half Fanatics!  And while I’m at it….I want an under 3 hour time on one of those!!  EEK.    Targeting the Phoenix half for the under 3….I got really close on that course, its a gradual downhill course.  I think that is my best shot….if I can stay uninjured

And that brings me to Snow Patrol…huh?  Well, there is a song it is called “Lifening”…go listen to it on iTunes.  My favorite instructor at Sumits plays it all the time at the end of class a lot.  “this is all I ever wanted from life”…….its just awesome.  It shuffled on today and it was perfect.  My running has been struggling a bit lately, the heat, the treadmill…..ugh.  Me trying so hard to be faster, to do more.  I hurt my good ankle last week doing something so mundane (walking in different shoes for 2 miles) made me realize how damn fragile we can be….and how easily hurt.  I don’t want to hurt doing something I truly love.  And I want to run/walk forever.  I want to run happy.  “This is all I ever wanted from life”…..to be healthy and active and do something I love.  So, I don’t think I have another marathon in me, and I sure as hell don’t think Dopey is for me.  OY, my ankles!!  I did one, and it was AWESOME. But I had to dig deep for it, and I don’t think I can get to that place again…..I asked an awful lot of this body. I have memories of that day that tear me up TO THIS DAY.  So, as I ran to Snow Patrol today, I decided another run for the Mickey medal is just not on my radar right now. Oddly, this was the first day when I thought about not doing the full in 2018(or EEK, Dopey) I was completely okay with it.  But don’t you Doepys in 2018 worry!!  If I am not running it, I sure as hell am cheEARing it!!!  Cause that is the year Pam and I plan another trip to the World……and doing the 10k and half together.  🙂  This running journey to a marathon has taught me so much!  I’m still journeying….not just to 26.2.  lol…..well at least for now.

 

This run today made me happy, not as fast as I long for, but it didn’t hurt, I could breathe, and when I finished I felt awesome….this is all I ever wanted from life.  A good run and this ice cream sandwich.  🙂  Happy running!!!

Whole 30 and 30/30

So, I am 13 days into my Whole 30.  It’s been rough.  Energy level poopy.  Still not sleeping all that great.  UGH.  Top that with a husband who is not exactly eating anything like a Whole 30…..and is eating all the things.  Now, I could force him into it, but that would end badly, so I try to just roll with it.  Saint Monica(the patron saint of patience)has been getting an earful this week.  Last night I almost caved.  So close.  I made him a calzone.  Dangerous.  Umm, LOVE bread.  I LOVE cheese.  Hello beautiful thing….I want you.  lol  Well, I got past it until he opened a bottle of wine.  Frog’s Leap.  Sauvignon Blanc.  Did I mention its one of my favorites?  He is lucky he made it through dinner.  Kidding.  Sorta.  But other than that very close call, I haven’t been craving too much, eating has been on point and I have resisted the call of the scale.  That is the not so great stuff, shall we move onto great things?

I found Jeff Galloway about 3 years ago, via a YouTube video with Derek Ralston.  I owe them both so much…I truly doubt I would have even entertained the thought of running a marathon without them.  I don’t know why, but when I started, I really wanted to be able to run a 30/30.  I had done a couch to 5k app just before discovering the Galloway method and it was a disaster.  Far too much running for me, and had seriously depressed me.  I just couldn’t do it.  I could run for more than 15-20 seconds at the most.  But once I got into Galloway, I realized that didn’t matter….10 seconds, 15 seconds were fine….you do what you can and that was so empowering.  I ran the best half of my life in January 2014, not for the pace, but how I felt.  Strong all the way to the end, thanks to Galloway!  But still in my head I yearned for 30/30.  I don’t know why.  It’s silly.  That’s what “normal” runners run! lol Not my silly 20/40….I knew for marathon training I had to go slow, the whole idea was to finish, obviously it was not gonna be fast.  15/30 worked really well, and it got me through all those training runs and the race.  When I got home from Marathon weekend, I surprised myself by really still wanting to run…I thought I’d be done with that stuff!

I got it in my head to work to 30/30, a second at a time I added to the run segment.  Did it, but damn it was hard.  How to you peeps do it?  Funny, a conversation with a Lizard buddy solved that.  (Thanks again, Joey!)  He told me to slow down, don’t run like I do for 15 seconds…go slower….even if it is a 16 minute mile…just go slower.  This week I tried it on a short weekday run.  It wasn’t too hot, a perfect afternoon to try it out.  And it worked!!  I feel kinda silly to say it made me almost as happy as finishing 26.2!!  The breathing is till tough, I still have a lot of researching breathing to do, and while I hope to someday get faster, I am okay with my pace right now!  Doing those run segment slower feels awesome and I am not as tired when I finish!  I ran 3 miles today, and had a few moments of fatigue, but really by the 2.5 mile mark I was feeling darn good!  Who knew?  Go slower, keep your pace and feel great?  YES!!!  And I also think the Whole 30 has helped in this too.  No dairy?  SO much better for my asthma!!  I have known this for a long time in my heart, but man I LOVE cheese(lol, think you know that already!)  I also discovered that I love running…..I love that there is always somewhere to make an improvement…..its a journey just like life.   Two more weeks til I can step on the scale!! So very curious!!  IMG_3497

Shall we weigh in?

I have a terrible love/hate thing going with the scale.  For years the number defined me, either crushed or made my day…..I’d like to say I have conquered that nonsense, but sadly I still struggle with it almost every day.  So dumb.  Health is what truly matters, and I KNOW this, really I do, but the number is still important for me.  I still wish the number was lower.  It is idiotic.  But there it is.  My weight is fine, my BMI is normal, I know I look just fine, but here I still am in the relentless pursuit of the loss of 5more pounds. I would love to be just a little leaner, a little less body fat….am I really that vain? lol maybe.  During marathon training, I weighed myself more out of curiosity than anything else.  I knew I wasn’t going to lose, despite the crazy mileage.  Your body is pretty much holding onto every calorie you give it, cause you are asking it do so much.  Well, at least mine is…..my name is not Shalene, or Amy…..they are super woman.  When I finished training, I was terrified I was going to see gains, now the lack of mileage would pack some pounds on.  Thankfully, that didn’t happen either.  But here I am, still wishing for a little less of me.  hmmm…….. Is it silly? Maybe.

Just as I was a sick child most of my life, I was also overweight, which I think went hand in hand with the asthma and my lack of any real activity.  I took that into my adulthood.  Always trying to lose weight, trying just about everything to shed some pounds.  It was a constant painful struggle.  And nothing worked.  Funny, no one at work can imagine me heavy, but believe me 20 pounds may not sound like a whole lot unless you are 5 foot nothing.  I was very unhappy.  I lost it mostly through Atkins, which was all the rage 15 or so years ago, but I was still a sugar/carb addict, and still struggled with food.  Bad food…..good food and the scale.  I lifted weights and still hated cardio….it wasn’t until about 4 years ago that I started to reevaluate my diet, tipping my toes into the Paleo movement, working my way to a more paleo diet was a huge success for me.  I was given a book by my good friend Shannon that sealed the deal for me and made me realize I was definitely on the right track.  Grains and sugar were my nemesis…..and without them the scale moved and I felt SO MUCH BETTER.  Each body is different and you have to find what works for you.  But I spent almost 40 years eating low fat, high carbs and got no where…hating myself and blaming my lack of willpower for my lack of pounds lost.  What a freaking waste of time and energy.  Anyway, besides the awesome NSNG lifestyle and listening to Vinnie Tortorich’s podcast, I read and listened to everything I could about the paleo/real food/no sugar movement I could find.  I came across a book:  “It Starts with Food”, which reiterated the real evil in our diets is sugar and grains and processed food.  There is a diet challenge to go along with the book, its called the Whole 30.  For thirty days you eliminate all dairy, grains, alcohol, legumes, artificial sweeteners, soy and any and all processed foods, and you are banned from the scale.  Hmmm.  Interesting.  It is a diet, but it is also about healing your relationship with food, discovering certain foods make you feel bad…..breakouts, tummy trouble, etc.  So I did it.  It was hard.  Really hard.  I X’d each day on the calendar……when it was done, I had lost about 6 pounds,not earth shattering…..but I felt amazing.  So much pain was gone, pain in my joints that I had for years.  Gone.  My skin looked better, my head felt clear.  It was amazing!

I did a couple whole 30’s since the first, and while the results were not as dramatic, it still served as  a good reset for me.  Sugar creeps back into your diet in small sneaky ways….the whole 30 is like clearing the slate.  🙂  So when my friend Christine told me she was thinking of giving it a try, I just knew it was time for me to clear my slate as well.  I have been exploring nutrition again, I just got Matt Fitzgerald’s “Racing Weight” from the library and sadly his book is full of grains.  sadness.  😦  They just don’t work for me.  Breads and cereals make my joints hurt. Today is day one, and so far so good.  Had to find something else to drink at yoga today…..my favorite drink (chocolate coconut water….it’s SO DELICIOUS!!!) has added sugar.  Can’t drink Ultima either, its sweetened with stevia.  Water with lemon and salt is a good replacement, but just not as tasty.  So it’s perfect time to try a Whole 30, since I a not training for a race right now.  We shall see how it goes!

I’m a little lost without a marathon to train for, right now I’m just training out to a long run of 10k.  Still trying to play with my intervals, still hoping to get just a tad faster…..heat is coming on already…..the rest of the country is freezing and we are having record high temps.  Sigh.  Can we get a little in between please??  Here is Sunday’s run and gosh that was a lovely morning.  I’ll take some more of that!  Happy running!!

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asthma and running

First let me write that I am a very lucky runner, I haven’t had to deal with any asthma problems on a run.  I always carry either carry my inhaler, or at the very least keep it in the car if I am at a race.  I also always mark my bib with an asthma warning.  Running with asthma presents all sorts of challenges.  But lets back up.

I was born a month early.  A month early in 1964.  I only weighed 4 pounds and my dad said I fit perfectly in the palm of his hand.  Babies survive  much smaller now, but back then, it was a rough start, since lungs are the last thing to develop.  I went home after a month’s long stay at the hospital.  I really think the lung issues stem from this, well and then the pneumonia I developed when I was 5.  I had a sickness ridden childhood, always the first to get a cold and I missed a lot of school.  I think I was finally diagnosed with asthma around the second grade. Lots of doctors, different medications….and not a lot of fun.  I grew up fearing anything physical, simply because I couldn’t breathe.  Horrible.  Gym class made me nervous even through high school, despite the asthma being controlled…somewhat.  After a really bad attack and scaring my teacher during a mile run for the Presidential Fitness (remember those?), I knew I would never run.  Well, thank God for Jeff Galloway and interval running, right?  It seems tailored made for me.  And I love it!

My lungs are still a problem.  Adulthood has seen my asthma symptoms lessen, and thankfully medications seem to do the trick.  I am currently on a couple of steroidal ones and a brochodialator.  My lungs have scar tissue from the pneumonia, and I still really hate lung function tests.  Normal folks have lung function around 80% on these PFTs(pulmonary function test), mine on a good day is about 60%.  It means going faster is just not an option I have, hard to run when your lungs can’t keep up. On the upside, I know running has made my lungs stronger.  Why all this talk of asthma?  Well, it is because I want to be faster…..just a tad.  🙂  So, I have a plan and a dream.  My goal interval is 30:30.  Thirty seconds running, thirty walking.  So the past 2 weekend runs I took my intervals from 20:30 to 22:30 and today I tried 23:30.  Was I faster?  A bit.  Sometimes when I run faster, I know I walk slower…..so I can catch my breath.  That is slightly counterproductive.  Oh well.  I’m going to keep at it.  A little experimentation is good, right?  It felt good.  It was hard, but not didn’t completely wind me.  Got some time to play around before training for the Dumbo Double Dare starts in May…..assuming we get registered this Tuesday!!  Fingers crossed.  Funny I found myself texting Shannon today costume ideas as if we were already in….positive thinking is important, right?  🙂  Oh it looks like we may be running as Donald’s nephews for the 10k in case you were curious!!  Onward!IJNW5584

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Twenty six point two

Okay, it’s DONE.  This is gonna be a long one, so grab a snack, cause I really need to get this all down, cause I really, really don’t want to forget. A week ago, gosh I can still hardly process it.  As always it seems like a lifetime ago.  I began this journey six months ago, through the heat of the summer, the holidays, and through a nasty bout with my sinuses right at Christmas, and to be on the other side seems crazy!!  Before I begin though, I have some other people to shout out:  Pamela, my very best friend finished her first half marathon the day before I tackled my race.  I am so over the moon proud of her I can not even begin to say….and she rocked my world on marathon morning…..more on that later.  Shannon, another very dear friend completed her first half as well last weekend….making it look easy.  So very proud of her as well.  She was my voice of reason for a lot of my training, always there to listen, and kick my butt when I needed it.  All my Lizards.  You welcomed me into our awesome family and I was so very excited to finally shake some hands and give out hugs.  I’m such a shy lizard, but I am so glad I got to meet you all.  Jocelyn, Scott, Joey I couldn’t have gotten through some of those long training runs without your perfectly timed texts to lift me up.  You all are AWESOME!!!  Congratulations to all of you!

I was really a wreck the week leading up to the race….sick and so scared and excited at the same time.  We got to Orlando Wednesday night and true to form we hit the ground running, catching the last night of the Osbourne lights, and having dinner and laughs at Sci-Fi…..but always in the back of my mind was screaming “YOU ARE RUNNING A MARATHON ON SUNDAY YOU CRAZY PERSON” Expo was a blast, getting bibs is always the like the final piece of the puzzle, the thing that makes it real.  I had Jeff Galloway sign my bib, so I could “take him with me.”  I ran into Caryn…somehow spotting her at the Raw Threads booth….Yay!!  A Firstie!!!  I got my wristband and a button…..that was another final piece for me too. Loved them, wore my button race day and it is in all my pics and that alone makes me very happy….that group was so helpful in this journey, someone always ready to answer a question or help with the panic.  Finding Kirk was another final piece for me, we chatted in the group a bunch and we share a birthday….the exact birthday.  🙂  I wish I could have seen him race morning, odd how quickly that morning goes by!!  But first, Pam and I had a 10k to run …in the pouring rain.  Piglet and Pooh got drenched, but it was fun! How can running with your best friend at Disney World not be fun?…..but part of me so wished I was running the half with Pam the next day and simple skipping that other race….lol.  We watched baby Alice run her first race with Shannon’s parents…rained on her too!  But she was adorable, and a future runDisney racer I am sure.  🙂

Half marathon day gave Pam and Shannon nicer weather, overcast, slightly cool and no rain!!  I got to see them both cross the finish line, though I wish I had gotten up earlier to cheer them on the course……I won’t make that mistake again.  They were both awesome!!!!  But again, even celebrating with Pam,and even at the Lizard meet up….all my poor brain could think was:  YOU ARE RUNNING A MARATHON TOMORROW!!  YOU ARE CRAZY!! Damn my silly brain.  AHHHHH!!!  I was so ridiculously jealous that Pam was done….why am I doing this again? That was all I could think…..why?  I must be totally nuts.

Marathon morning comes early, I think I got up about 2:30(yikes!), and the rest of the morning is like flashes of memories…..getting dressed, feeling really anxious….Pam telling me I was going to be awesome and telling me she planned to follow me around all day.  Walking to the bus, a nice lady, whose name I never got chatting to pass the time.  I am not a casual converser….odd, huh? since I do it for a living….Pam is the one who can talk to just about anybody…I so envy her!  To the runner’s area, finding my Lizards(so very awesome to hang with them!!)  Jocelyn wagging her finger telling me to get outta my head..  :), the guys all joking…so excited!  I finally found my corral mate, who was actually in the group right next to me with the Mickey Milers….Christine I couldn’t have gotten through the rest of the morning without you and Sandi.  To the corrals…..Christine brought 2 mylar blankets to sit on….picnic time for the three of us.  Now faster….national anthem, corrals starting!!!  Yay!  Fireworks!!  We were in L, corrals moved quickly, I didn’t have much time to really think.  Rudy called out my other Facebook family the #Firsties!  It was very cool!!  I won’t bore you with a mile by mile….but I do need to say:  It was humid.  It was HOT….though maybe it just seemed that way, cause, damn, the one thing this AZ runner is not used to is humidity.  UGH.  Humidity is for the yoga studio, not the run.  I was dripping before we even got to mile 2.  UHOH.  Part of me was already thinking….danger!  danger!  I shoved it aside and kept to my intervals, tried to breathe, and take it easy.  Pam texted me to let me know she was at the TTC, about mile 4 looking for me on the left.  I found her easily with her Pooh ears.  🙂  oh so happy to see her!!  Right before I saw her though, a small miracle happened.  Someone tapped me on the shoulder as she ran up beside me.  My bus mate!!  She found me.  And I still didn’t get her name….I really, really hope she finished her race!

Magic kingdom was so much fun!  I slowed down, walked a bit, took a couple selfies, and then looked for a bathroom….lol.  As usual, even though I had gone before the corrals, I still had to go, and it was becoming worrisome….all the portapottys had very lengthy lines….and I was so scared to stop so early.  We circled into Tomorrowland, and I saw a bunch of runners veer off to a “real” bathroom….but there was a line….a long one.  Yikes. I kept going.  Into Frontierland….another bunch of peeps are running to the left off course.  YES!!!  No line at all…..”I am so glad I waited!” I blurt out to a nice lady at the sink….lol.  “Right?” she says…..”I do love a real bathroom!”

Okay….onward pass the train and we are out of the MK, pass a DJ playing tunes on a truck and he announces that right now we are 30 minutes ahead of the sweepers.  My heart goes to my throat.  Talk of sweepers so soon?  He says they have done a sweep at mile 5.  But I charge on…..keeping to my intervals.  Run your own race, Donna….don’t freak til there is something to freak about. Pam texts to say she is on the road between the Poly and the Grand.  Crazy lady.  lol  And sure enough there she is!  Yelling for me and asking how I’m doing.  I remember saying “hot.”  And damn was I ever.  My head was soaked, my visor brim and headband soaked as well….but darn they worked well….thank you Sparkle Athletic!  Animal Kingdom was our next goal…and man it took forever.  Miles 8-almost 12 had to pass before we got there.  The Tree of life was gorgeous and our time in the park so quick!  Back on the road, we hit the half way point and somewhere in there the animal keepers and a line of animals on there side of the road. I just remember someone screaming and running to the opposite side of the road….lol…I guess she wasn’t too fond of whatever animal she saw.  Okay, so it was about here the sun was struggling to peek through and I was cursing it. Still hot, and SO HUMID.  I don’t drink Powerade usually, cause it is way too sugary, but I did, I was so worried about cramping.  Been there, done that once before, and I knew that if my calves cramped I would be done.  So, I drank it.  One of the many awesome things about runDisney races is the course support….plenty of water stops, with tons of volunteers, all ready with the liquid in the cups, or ready to fill your bottle.  I drank and filled my bottle at just about every stop, and while I was hot, I never got cramps or felt dehydrated.  Go me!! The very real problem was my feet.  They hurt.  They always hurt, but today, they started letting me know about at about 13.1.  UGH.  I had been worried about my legs hurting, but they never did.  My feet?  Oh boy.  I think I downed two tylenol about mile 16 in that LONG stretch on the way to WWOS.  OH!  Pam found me right outside Animal Kingdom!  And by now, she was with a tribe of spectators moving around property together….ISOR(in search of runners!!)  LOL.  I can’t begin to say how wonderful it is to spot a friendly face….

This is about the time things started to worry me.  Coming up to the infamous WWOS….the never-ending weaving in and out of the ball fields….so hard and so long.I began to want to really stop, the pain in my feet now was horrible.  Then I get a devastating text from Christine….she had been swept at mile 14.  I was so hurt for her.  Then another text….gosh that Jocelyn has damn near perfect timing.  She was also in the maze of WWOS….she was so excited I was that far, as I was for her….I realized that there was no way I could stop now….that would just be silly!  I was still run walking at this point, and made another pit stop in a real bathroom….such a treat….lol….and a lady at the sink said she was using me to keep her pace up…her knee was done, and she had to walk.  You think I would be upset she was keeping pace with me by walking?  nah, she was so excited to run into me and tell me how she had been chasing me by watching for my running skirt.  🙂  Good times.  While I had the desire to go on now, I also knew the sweep was not far away…as I exited WWOS I didn’t see any other runners going in….UHOH.  We exit WWOS at mile 20, but the next landmark is almost 3 miles away.  UHOH.  And three miles might as well be 300 at this point.  Most people are walking, and are hurting….you can see it.  I am still run walking, but starting to hate it….lol….the emotions of a marathoner.  In my head I know the last sweep is somewhere right before Hollywood Studios..between 22 and 23….although I find out later, they swept at mile 19(how horrible!!)  So now my mission is simple:  Make it to the Studios.  Pam texts again and says she is there.  It was the longest part of the course for me….so terrified of any bus I see….anything on a bike…..I told myself to run…until I was safe, then I would walk it in.  My feet were done.  Into the Studios,  WOOHOO….but I still didn’t feel safe..still panicking at the sight of a volunteer on a bike.  I find Pam,  at some point Jocelyn texted me a pic….I finally could look at it.  It was a Pam/Jocelyn selfie and it made me so HAPPY!!  I remember telling Pam I was tired, and I had to walk.  She hugged me and told me to get going….and that she doubted she could get over the finish line in time…..but Shannon was there in the park.  🙂

I walked as fast as I could, still full of doubt, wanting to run, trying to figure out mileage….mapmyrun was way off….my watch was done at mile 18, my feet so very unhappy.  Shannon texting me to ask where I was…mile 22 i thought.  No wait here comes marker 23!!  It was in the Studios that support from the crowd started to help….so many park guests, clapping, yelling…it was wonderful!

Out of the Studio, around the parking lot, someone is giving our Sour Patch Kids, I don’t even like Sour Patch kids, but i take one and it is the most glorious taste in the world.  We round the parking lot, then head to a path.  It is the path that leads to EPCOT.  WHOA.

IMG_3275I took this picture a couple days later and I choked up when I took it.  It was here I knew I was gonna make it.  I think it is mile 24.  There was a DJ in a boat, music blaring, people lined the walkway clapping, cheering.  Oh good God.  I AM GOING TO FINISH THIS.  I walked high fiving anyone with a hand out….there was a lady with a sign that read “FREE HUGS HERE”, she had a bunch of hashmarks for her hugs……I ran over to her, apologizing for my sweat, i remember her laughing and thanking me for another hashmark.  🙂  People have asked what the best part of the race was….and I can answer without even thinking:  EPCOT.  And, no, not just because it was the end, but yes, that was damn sweet…..but really, it was about the music…..sweeping over us, a grand warrior…I kick ass anthem, and running around the countries.  It was so breathtaking I can’t even begin to tell you.  People stopping and cheering.  Fellow runners, with medals hanging on their neck screaming:  “You see this?  You see this pretty medal?  It’s YOURS!!  You got this!!!”  It was such an emotional time for me.  I fought back tears half a dozen times.  Though I silently also wished that EPCOT had fewer countries.  LOL  A race usually holds a couple really special memories.  My next two were about to happen.  Countries done, now we are on the path through future world.  I hear my name.  Someone is calling me.  It’s Christine!  She is in EPCOT with her husband and spots me.  How?  I have no idea.  She says she is so excited for me and I am SO CLOSE.  I am an emotional wreck…she didn’t finish, but she is here, hugging me and telling me to GO.  Up a little further I hear my name again…umm…someone is SCREAMING my name.  LOL Shannon.  Freaking awesome!!  People are all looking around and laughing.  I hug her and she is yelling….go do it…go…you are so close.  UHOH…round the corner to the gospel choir……holding it together is so hard.  I just vaguely remember the lyrics…something about thanking God, well, yeah, cause I sure didn’t do this by myself.  Finish chute…..oh holy crap.  I am smiling one minute and just a puddle of tears the very next.  That picture up top sums it up.  I could not BELIEVE it.  I still can’t.  I am 51, asthmatic and slow as molasses….but somehow I just finished a marathon.  Even today as I type, I am teary.  I don’t think I will ever be able to think of that moment and not get emotional.   Done.  26.2….and I have the pretty medal to prove it.  🙂

I can’t end without again congratulating my “partners in crime”……Shannon and Pam, and all my Lizards who finished Dopey, or their marathons.  It was a tough day, weather wise, but they did it!!  It was a day I will never forget.  Pam proved herself to be the BEST friend anyone could hope to have in their corner…..hopping all over Disney property to cheer me on.  It was a darn good day.

Onto the next race!!!  Disneyland, Dumbo’s Double Dare will be the next run for the three partners in crime! I will be happy to be aiming for 13.1 instead of 26.2!   Ummm…..along with a very pretty Coast to Coast medal.  September can’t get her fast enough!!

The final one

December 20 was the day on my training calendar that I feared the most.  Just 5 days before Christmas the longest and last run was scheduled.  My friend Jeff’s training plan calls for 26.2.  Gulp.  Folks that’s a marathon.  I had to run a marathon before I actually ran a marathon.  There is a lot of controversy surrounding the length of the final long run distance before a race.  Some plans never take you to more than 17, others 20.  Some argue putting that much mileage on you body is too stressful, and does not make a difference in the quality of your training.  Others even say doing a long run for more than 3 hours is just downright damaging.  Well, I trust the man who made me a runner.  If Jeff says to run 26.2, I am gonna try.  Now, he also adds that mileage should be completed slow, even walking it is perfectly acceptable.  The point is to put the miles on your legs….pace is not relevant.  Okay, good.  Cause speedy I am not.  lol

So, on Saturday night I set out my fuel, got my bottles all ready to fill.  Going with 2 gels on me, 1 in my spare bag.  I decided to try dates again also, I had been really liking them on the last couple of runs.  I set out a fruit pouch, planned a bottle of Perpetuem, one Ultima, and this time I tried a bottle of coconut water.  I ate my usual dinner of a big strip steak and an even bigger baked potato, got to bed early.  Ready.

It’s been cold here in AZ, well, cold for us…..morning temps around 38, warming in the afternoons to 60 or so, and Sunday was that exact forecast.  I learned my lesson on my 23 miler….I need to wait for sun and not be so overly anxious to get going.  I have also discovered I do much better energy wise if I eat a real breakfast before I run….not sure what I am going to do race day.  So I slept til 5, made Tom and I bacon and eggs and headed out about 6:30.  Not gonna lie, I was terrified of this run.  This is it.  The final one.  I didn’t really plan on 26, cause that scared me even more.  I needed to get over 23 just to make my head happy.  24 would be awesome.  I felt good, but my feet and legs were tired. Holidays at Starbucks are just so damned busy….I had worked 40 hours this week, and my feet felt it.  Oh well, gotta suck it up.  GO!  I had in my brain to go slow, take my time, and to help with that I decided no music, I was going to catch up with one of my favorite podcasts, The Be our Guest Podcast…I thought taking them along would make the time go by faster.  And I tell you, it was the best decision I have ever made! It was like with running with a bunch of pals.  🙂

So, I went.  I won’t bore everyone with a huge mile by mile, but let me say it was tough, my feet just plain hurt, my ankles were just plain pissed.  All was good, my Lizard buddy Jocelyn was doing a run, not big mileage, since she is nursing an injury, but she was testing her ankle, and we had been texting a bit.  It is so helpful to hear from a friend while you get up there in miles!  I found out that another Lizard was attempting his last long run too, Scott was trying to at least get to 23….it was freezing and he was cold….so I texted him for a bit, especially around mile 19….I was done.  My feet were not happy at all.  I told them I was gonna walk the rest, I just couldn’t run on my ankle anymore.  The 2 of them were so encouraging.  I knew in my head, walking was okay, but I was sad I wasn’t going to be able to run anymore.  Maybe 19 is the limit for my ankle….good to know, huh?  Scott was walking by this time too…made me feel better.  🙂  I don’t think I would have gotten to 24 if it hadn’t been for the 2 of them!

It was nearly one pm when I made the last loop towards my house and I was super glad to be done and I was hungry.  So, I didn’t get to 26, but I am super happy with what I did accomplish.  My feet and ankles hurt A LOT that night and into Monday, but by Tuesday, after an awesome hot yoga class, all I had was a little pain in my shins….YAY…..and a HUGE cold…..BOOOO.  Who the heck saw that coming???  And even as I type this I am not feeling too chipper……and it is Christmas Eve.  😦   I have read that a cold, or flu like symptoms are very common after a very long run, and lets face it, I was as close to running a full marathon as you can get!  So, I’ll take the misery now, just got to move it out quick.  I can hardly believe that this is where we are…..less than 2 weeks til my trip begins!!  Part of me can’t wait to get down there, see Pam, meet my Lizard pals, while the other half of me is still so completely terrified!  AHHHHH. I am missing running this week, rest is the needed thing right now I think.  I plan to get my 6 miler in Sunday, but I am not stressing about it.  Taking it easy, eating really well and getting enough sleep is the priority during the taper, right?  Well, time for more tea and a nap.  13 days…….OMG.IMG_3169