Not Ok

When your doctor sounds completely bewildered by your test results it means one of two things.  Either it’s time to find a new doctor or you’re just extra special.  I haven’t quite decided which one to think yet.   Maybe both.

If you’ve been reading for a while, you’ve heard me whine, moan, complain about my stupid stomach.   Actually I usually call it something much more colorful, it has a few nicknames.    Speaking officially, it’s gastroparesis with a side of GERD.   Or is that the other way round?   GERD was diagnosed about 12 years ago, and gastroparesis about 5.    It was all handled pretty well until June 2014.  Things since then have been one giant flare.     Which has brought on numerous tests, multiple medicines and some more dietary restrictions.  Yay.  I’ve run too many medicated races in the last year+.  Not ok.

I’ve tried to not complain too much on the blog in the past couple of months but I think I failed.   I have been quiet about how rough things have become.   My left side pretty much aches all the time.  I’ve been retaining water, air, something- who knows- to the point that I look puffy and swollen most of the time.  And people have started to comment on it.    I’ve been waiting for someone to ask when I am due since half the time I look pregnant.  Trust me, I’m not.   But my new stretch marks say differently.   Any pictures you’ve seen recently have all been taken from very odd angles to try to hide it.   I am once again living in dresses.   And my running shorts have turned almost scandalously short.   Not ok.

It also finally clicked that my side is affecting my sleep.    I may be a night owl but normally when I do fall asleep, it’s next to impossible to wake me up and I always stayed in the same position.  Curled up on my left side, always.   I’ve tried to sleep in other positions but always ended up back on my left side.    I haven’t been able to sleep on my left side in months.   Grrr.     Oh and my side talks.  Seriously everyone at work has heard it.  Sometimes it sounds like a whale.  At least that’s what a coworker used to say.  Other times a plane. And not in the I’m hungry, let’s growl way.    It moves too.  Yay me.That 'dying whale' sound your stomach decides to make in the most quiet situation.

So when the doctor ordered another CT scan, I was torn about it.  As much as you want answers, you also don’t want anything to be really wrong.  It’s kind of a catch-22.    I’ll also say that the results could have been so much worse.   But words like collapsed and mass are not things you want to read on a medical report.    Or hear from the doctor who sounds completely confused.   So now I wait while they are requesting yet another test to try and figure out what is going on.   But I can’t just wait.

I haven’t had the best luck with Atkins.  Partly because it was a little tricky and partly because I cheated too often.  It was an interesting 3+ months.  I also didn’t like that a lot of the options that were “low-carb” had an ingredient list 5 miles long.   And most of them were words I couldn’t even pronounce.  Also, I can not get into Quest bars, I don’t understand the fascination with them.  That consistency is just odd.    It was a little too easy to eat crappy food as long as it fit within my carb limits for the day. If you ask my mother, Atkins made me worse.   My side’s hurt longer than that so not true.    She also questions if I should be running at all.    Doc didn’t say to stop but I also didn’t ask.    I figured I would stick with 3 days running and slow down my easy runs.  That’s not a lot.

:)
:)

So for plan b (or is it plan f now?) I am wading into the Paleo waters.  I’ve mentioned it in passing before but never followed through.  Now I am really going to give it a try.  Baby steps, but I am going to try.    The plan was to start this week but if you read my last post, you know I cheated more than few times last week.   Instead I started this week with the Slacker version of a reboot.  Starting Sunday, breakfast and lunch were all fruits and veggies via smoothies.   Dinner was usually more veggies.   It was surprisingly easy.    Except for Wednesday night, I had a serious case of the munchies.  All I wanted was cake or ice cream.    Seriously, if the fair wasn’t in town and making traffic crazy I might have headed to the donut shop.    Thankfully, it passed.    I wasn’t expecting miracles but I don’t feel worse, maybe just a little more even.   So, I’m calling it a win.   My mother told me I looked less puffy today.   😉

On another note, since last week I’ve cut my Diet Coke intake in half.  Slacker say what?!  Normal for me was 2 a day.  Now those 2 were 32 oz.   One in the morning and one around 2:30.    I only drink soda at work or when I’m eating out.  I don’t even buy it for home.  Combine those sodas with my usual over indulgence in water and I drink a lot of liquid throughout the day.  😃 I still commute so I added black coffee in the morning to keep me alert.    Baby steps, right?  I don’t think I will ever give soda up completely.   It’s my one vice.    Seriously, it tastes amazing after a race.

Now my challenge is to get through the weekend without backsliding too much.  I also need to double check my list for my first paleo grocery trip this weekend.    I can do this right?  Can I get through cookie Friday?!   Will this help?  I have no idea but at least I am doing something while I wait.    I’m not even aiming high, I would like to follow the 80/20 rule with this new plan.  Mostly because pizza, and the previously mentioned Diet Coke.

Thanks for listening to me whine.

Any Paleo tips?

What’s your vice?  What one food could you not give up?

Week 6 Recap- Really?

I know I picked a longer training cycle but how is week 6 over already?      Picking a longer cycle seems to have been a good choice so far with work being crazy, my odd leg issues and other various issues popping up.  The plan is detailed enough to give me guidance but flexible enough I can move things around.  And things moved this week.

Monday- Rest

Ahh, glorious Monday Rest day.  Coincidentally also Monday Pizza night.  😉🍕

Tuesday-  4 miles easy.

Like I mentioned in my last post, this run made me nervous.  While my leg ached it didn’t outright hurt.  I tried to focus on my form and make sure that my left leg was actually coming around and not just shuffling along.    I pulled off a nice negative split for the run but gravity helped that along.   :)

Wednesday- Rest

I have to start writing these recaps as the week progresses.  I can’t even remember what I did other than work on Wednesday.  I think pizza may have been involved.  Oh, I got my CT results.  Yeah, more on that next post.

Thursday- 7 miles long-ish run

I love half days.  Granted, they mean working on a Saturday but those extra few hours on weekday rock.    I decided to try and get my long run out of the way.    With my leg still being achy, I had already decided that instead of the 10 that had been on the plan I was aiming for 7-8 miles.     I headed to the lake path, while running multiple loops can be boring I would be near my car if my leg started hurting.  IMG_1265It was warm but not too bad.   There was one section of the lake that resembled the surface of the sun and I felt like I slowed in that section every time.   I completed the first 5 miles by taking a .10 mile walk break after each mile to shake out my calf area.    I noticed that walking wasn’t helping so for miles 6 & 7, I tried something different.    I stopped my Garmin and started a new run.  Instead of walking, I took a short 20-30 second pause if I needed to stretch.     My running pace dropped by 20 seconds and overall it only added 2 minutes to my run vs the 5 minutes walking.  Overall, I am not sure if I learned anything but it was an interesting experiment.   😏

Friday- Rest day

I lost the battle with the cookies.

Saturday- Active Rest day

The morning started with a drive out to Saturday work town.   I headed home after work as my mom and I had plans to head to the fair for the afternoon.   The fair comes once a year and runs almost 2 weeks.  The town goes a little insane but it’s fun.   I can usually hear the concerts out my window too, so bonus!  I’m not huge on crowds so I generally only go once.  I have to get my funnel cake and pretzel, it’s a fair tradition.  😄  We enjoyed our yummy fair food and took in all the sights.  I will never ride a fair ride but I love taking pictures of them.

I always try to go on a night where I wouldn’t mind hearing the concert a little better, too.  This year that was supposed to be Alice Cooper and Motley Crue.    Except they had plane issues so the concert was pushed back.    From what I could hear from home- Alice Cooper started playing after 10 and Motley Crue around midnight.   I wonder how many people stayed.     I wore my Fitbit to the fair and we walked well over 5 miles.   Plus that thing is notoriously short on steps.    I feel zero guilt for that yummy fair food.  Maybe for the purse I bought.

Sunday- 5.5 miles Speed work

Somehow I was up early for me and made it to the track by 10.  I wanted to try to complete the speed work I had skipped by running long on Thursday.  The plan called for a 30 minute warm and 8x 1:00 @10K pace with 1:00 recovery and then a 15 minute cool down for 1:10:00.  As I type this I noticed 2 things- 1) that math does not add up at all and 2) I thought it was 10x repeats so I did 10, ugh.    The 30 minute warm up turned into 35 and I rode the struggle bus the entire way.  I could not get my legs moving and my lungs weren’t much better.   I checked the temp during a water break and noticed the 65% humidity.   Ok, I get the complaining lungs now.   I really wanted to blow off the repeats but I figured I would at least start them and see how it went.    Since I didn’t want to see 500 splits with an odd overall average pace I ended my first run after the warm up and started a new one.   Honestly, I have no idea what my 10K pace should be but according to my PR 16 months ago it was around 9:00.     Didn’t think I had a shot in hell of hitting that.

1.  8:01
2.  8:13
3.  8:02
4.  8:12
5.  8:15
6.  7:55
7.  8:19
8.  8:21
9.  8:23
10. 8:21IMG_1398Well, that was unexpected.   No lie, I walked the recoveries.  I recently read another blog of someone much faster and stronger than me and they said they walked their recoveries.   I swear it was like birds singing when I read that.  😊    That being said, I have no idea how I hit those paces when I was feeling so rough.     I felt like a nasty, sticky mess when done so my cool down only ended up being half a mile.    I was done.    But all in all, it turned out to be a good run.  Plus I love the track.

Over all, not a bad training week.   I think I’ve finally accepted that I have some limitations right now so I am going to do what I can and see what happens.   Going forward I would like to add in cross training and I think the stationary bike is the best option right now, I just need to get my lazy butt to the gym.  Any bets on how long that will take me?

How was your week?  Do you like the track?

Ever been to a concert that started that late?  Would you have stayed?

What’s your fair food indulgence?

Mid Week Musings-3

Woo hoo, it’s Wednesday!   WordPress tells me this is the third time I’ve posted with my mid-week musings, so here we go.

D.E.R- Smart Choices-

As in Don’t Even Register.    I’ve never DNS’d a race because I register super late.  I figure I’d rather pay $20 more than lose the whole registration fee.   My post back in May laid out my summer race schedule.   It listed a 25K trail race on August 1.  Which I really, really want to run.   But let’s be real here, I haven’t been on a trail since April.     I am not in any kind of shape for a 3200’+ elevation gain.  And it’s by the beach.  Hello humidity.  While I was struggling through the last humid miles at Shoreline, I came to the conclusion that a humid 25K just might kill me.   That struggle bus was fueling some dramatic thoughts apparently.    So, I decided that a 12K with 1400′ climb would be fine, a little fun with a little difficulty too.   Then there was my leg and let’s be real there too, it’s been bothering me for a while now.  It’s not a new thing.    It’s not like I’ve never done dumb things before (i.e. Ventura half on heavy-duty antibiotics, a 5K after an asthma filled 10k -September makes me stupid) but I am trying to be smart here.  So from 25K to 12K to 0.     Which makes me cranky since our area has 2 trail races a year and this was the last long distance option until Fall 2016.  Waah!   Or so I thought.   :)   The one I ran in January is coming back in November.   7 days after the Big Sur Half.   Yup, I’m still crazy.  Just not running next weekend.   :)IMG_1230

That leg though-

After hiding from the lightning and thunder on Sunday, and the oppressive humidity left behind on Monday, I was ready to try running.   Seriously, I’ve never seen 95% humidity in home town and work was a lovely 100% when I arrived that morning, thanks Delores.     On Tuesday, I changed and headed back to home to run.  I met my mom at the river path which was cool because I was actually really nervous to run so I ended up walking the first mile with her.     From then on I tried to run and just keep things easy.  I focused on how my leg felt and worked on my turn-over.  I know my left hip drops and I need to work on my form.   And now with no races in August, I can work on my form, like back to re-form school for slacker runners.  Oof, that was bad.  :)  Anyways, the run was pretty good.  My leg felt achy but not in pain.  I paused for a stretch break after each mile and I made sure to stretch really well after my run and later.  I also iced my leg for a bit.  Now, let’s see what happens.

A Fab Choice?

Back on July 4th I finally caved to one of those Facebook ads and signed up for a Fabletic’s outfit.    They were offering an outfit for as low $15 so I figured why not.   After their little questionnaire, the site suggested a few outfits.   I didn’t buy any of those but finally chose one on another page.    Shorts, tank and visor for less than $20 after taxes.   I wore the shorts and tank on Tuesday’s run.  Somehow, I’ve already misplaced the visor.   :(     I sized up for both pieces which worked well with the shirt as I think my normal size would have been too small.  The waistband on the shorts feels super loose so a smaller size may have worked but damn they are short in the back.    The material felt slightly heavy when on and I was less than enthused with the shorts on that first mile.  They kept riding up.    Grrr.  Somehow running made all the irritation go away.    3 miles of running and both pieces were perfectly behaved.    I even forgot the shirt was new, it fit so well.      The second I started walking my cool down, the shorts went back to riding up.    WTH?!    So, overall I am not hugely impressed but not overly disappointed either.    More of a meh.   Why can’t Lulu be more affordable?

Tips for correcting form issues?

Ever tried Fabletics?  Thoughts?

Week 5- Oops

And here it is.   This past week did not go according to plan, not even close.   After a good day and race on Sunday I was optimistic for this week.  Or I was trying to be.   In reality I was in a funk.  No real reason for it, but I was feeling very woe is me this week.  Like I said, not sure why.  But let’s get to the training- or lack there of.

Monday- Rest

I was feeling a little sore post race so I figured a rest day was in order.  Monday was also a vacation day for me and I usually love running on vacation days but thought rest was best.

Lost runner?
Lost runner?

Tuesday- Rest

I woke up feeling pretty rough but managed to drag myself out to the high school.   My mother had a morning tennis practice and asked for my help.  All I wanted to do was sleep but I lasted for a little over an hour.   I never really felt better so I wasted another vacation day by resting.  I told myself I still had Wednesday and Thursday after work.   I did get further on my craft swap project though.   And I had a few helpers even if they were breaking the rules-

Bad cats
Bad cats

Wednesday- And…rest

Last week I was smart and made sure that the day I had blood work done was a rest day.   This week that common sense escaped me.   I had a CT scheduled for the morning but other than the fasting I had to do on Tuesday I didn’t think anything of it.    I went to work right after and felt fine.   It wasn’t until3ish that things went south.   I suddenly felt the opposite of fine, I thought I was going to pass out.  I spent the next hour sitting in the break room feeling very off.  I don’t know what caused it but it meant no running that day.  On the upside- my boss got me a great birthday gift-

:)
:)

Thursday- 3.5 miles

I was looking forward to this run.  After 3 days off, I really needed to run.  I changed after work and headed for the lake path.    My warm up walk ran a little longer as I missed a call from my dad.  It’s odd for him to call, so I made sure to call him back.  I didn’t want to wait so I just walked while I called.   Once that was done, I started running.   My goal was to keep an easy pace so I was obsessively watching my watch to make sure I stayed around 10:30.    I’d really like to get back to running without so many walk breaks so I know I need to slow things down.  However that wasn’t my biggest problem.  I hurt.   Specifically, my left knee, calf and ankle.  My calf was so tight, it hurt so badly.  I stopped after the first running mile and just tried to stretch it out.   I then attempted to run another mile.   More pain.  Both miles I ran were at a 10:30 pace but after completing the second running mile I decided I was done.     I spent more time stretching before walking back to the car.  Grr.

Stretching site- grr
Stretching site- grr

Friday- Rest

Started work early and since we weren’t open I wore my Sayonaras until we were.    I don’t run in them since they are too big but I may start wearing them more to and from work and on the weekends.   I need to figure out what is up with my leg.  I put them back on after work to run errands.  I was looking stylish.    :)

Saturday- Rest- sense a pattern here?

My mother was throwing a little dinner party for my birthday that evening so I knew I had to run early.     Except I woke up feeling poorly and my leg ached.  We had hoped to go on an 8 mile hike on Sunday, so I skipped another run.    :(   The party ended up being super small but fun.     My birthday is pretty much the only time I drink alcohol and I admit I was looking forward to sleeping really well that night.  Life of the party right?   It’s one of the reasons I rarely drink, I get super mellow and sleepy.    Mother Nature had other ideas.

We had the mother of all thunder storms roll through in the last 24 hours.   I don’t think I have ever seen so much lightning before.    The house rattled all night long.  So much for sleep.     The power was going and coming back making that lovely surge sound every time. Kimi somehow knew each time a really big batch of thunder was going to roll through and would start crying in warning.

Source
Source

Sunday- Rest

Running or hiking in the rain I can do.  Lightning?  Not so much.  There were reports of it hitting cars.  Power was out all over the place, lines were down and the flood damage was all over town.     And more rain was coming.   We received more rain in the last day than the last few years.   Which is amazing and needed but the land was too dry to absorb all that water.   The town is kind of v-shaped so the water flooded down to the river bed but so much mud and gunk are strewn across town now.   There’s still a flood warning in effect as I type this.   Grrr.

Weekly miles- 3.5

So yeah, that was less than stellar.    Luckily my goal race is in October so I have some time to figure things out.   I’ve also rethought my next few races but more about that in another post.  More rain is expected for tomorrow but hopefully I can get back on track this week.  Fingers crossed.

How was your weekend?

Do you like thunder and lightning?  There are very rare here. 

Best thing you did this weekend?

A New Role?

I volunteered for a race years before I ever thought of running one.   I worked a water table 3 years before I started running.  Back then this race was USATF certified and sanctioned so I can say I have actually seen elite runners up close.    They had no need of the water we were providing.   But it was fun watching them fly while we froze.   Seriously, for being September, I remember freezing the first 2 years.   Year 3, my station was at a different mile marker and was in complete sun.  So much nicer.  It was also in front of a grocery store.   I went in and bought all of us volunteers donuts.    So yes, the runners had to see us eating donuts.    :)

Then I started running.   So now I was the person grabbing a cup of water from someone with cold hands.    After a year of not volunteering, I shifted to working the registration/ packet pick up table the day before the race.    I gained a new found respect for anyone who works one of those.  Particularly when it comes to t-shirt sizes.     Now I think it’s funny but that first year I thought I was going to lose my mind.   I’ve done that for 3 years now and I look forward to it every year.

But I haven’t given up water tables.  The last 2 years I worked a water table with my mom and her tennis team at another local race.    This race hosts a marathon, half marathon and 5K and our station was on the marathon course.    So it was a very dark and cold early morning.    Then, I was lucky enough to be a SLO ambassador for 2 years so I was given the chance to work on my social media skills.   It was fun but let’s be honest- Twitter still confuses me- I just can’t keep up!  Which makes this new role a little nerve wracking.HarvestHeaderSay hello to the Harvest Marathon, owner of those early morning marathon water stations.    It’s a scenic race through winding back roads with vineyards lining the way.   There are some hills but what better way to train for Heartbreak Hill, right?   The proceeds of the race benefit local youth athletic programs.    I took these shots at last year’s water station-

What am I doing?   Social media, of course.  But not as Slacker Runner.   As the Harvest Marathon.    Eeek!!!  I am torn between “muahaha” and “holy crap”.    That’s a lot of responsibility.    And I feel slightly odd when I (Slacker Runner) shares my (Harvest Marathon) posts.  :)   Right now I am trying to grow their following but not post excessively.  So, I am posting twice a week right now.     I would like to step up to 3 but I want it to be natural.     I have some plans for future posts, I just need the time to make it happen.   I am trying to work on an Instagram as well.

So here are my questions.  Do you follow races on social media?  What types of posts do you like to see from them?    What would catch your attention as a runner?     Any suggestions on managing media?   I now have 3 Facebook feeds and 2 Twitter feeds.  Hootsuite isn’t letting me integrate the 2 profiles.  Grrr.   Any thoughts?

Help!

Have you ever volunteered for a race before? How?