Run!, Slacker, Stomach

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?

Run!, Slacker

Mid Week Musings

On a Thursday, a day late and a dollar short.  That’s how I roll.   🙂  I got distracted last night watching a movie and didn’t finish. 

Running-

As much as I want to get back to running 4x a week, I have held steady with running 3x.  Which is putting me around 15 miles a week.   I guess the entire month of May is going to be a recovery/ rest month?  I made it out for 2 weekday runs last week.  A 3.5 mile run and a 5 miler.   Both were run around a 9:45 pace after my warm up.  Not too shabby.  Once again both runs were cold and windy.  Grrrrrr.    IMG_0450I haven’t run long since the SLO half.   6 is as high as I have gone.  I miss the long run.   I’ve finally mostly accepted May for what it is.  However if I am running a half marathon in July, I really need to get back on track in June.    I am going to hold off on registering just yet.   The 10K might be the better fit right now.   Which leads me to-

Work-

I am halfway through week 2 of the whole open to close thing.  Monday through Friday only means an extra 45 minutes or so.  Fridays hit 11 hours.    I admit I am a little tired.  I have been making myself go to sleep earlier and it helps a bit.   The sad part is that earlier is still 11:15.  😦    But win for not upping my soda intake!!   So, this is part of why I am ok with fewer miles right now.  Don’t get me wrong, the numbers geek in me is crying but it’s just a small part.   The surprising part is how stupidly positive I have felt.  Being down 50% of the staff should freak me out but somehow I’m not alarmed.  Yes, things are going to be rougher than normal for a month or so but it will all work out in the end.  Who am I?  Maybe that silly song is bleeding into other aspects of my life.  IMG_0431Nothing-

This past Sunday, I planned on doing absolutely nothing.  Not even running.  Now, I’ve managed to run 1 weekend day each week so far in May but I planned to run both days.  Not following through on those days I missed made me feel guilty and that stressed me out.   So this Sunday  I planned nothing.  It was so awesome.   I wasn’t stressed about missing miles or running around doing errands.   I slept in, lazed around, worked on my bib scrapbook and started one of my Harry Potter swap crafts.   Marvelous.

Stomach-

This little flare up hits a year on June 1st.   Can it still be considered a flare if it lasts a year?  Or is it just life at that point.    I am still struggling with the Atkins diet, I think it helps but I need to work on consistency.   While I feel like I am staying fairly calm with all the work stuff, I admit there has been some stress eating going on.    Bad slacker!   The weekend was not a great one for my stomach, even at the race.   Oh well, moving on.

See? Burger is diet approved- fries not so much.
See? Burger is diet approved- fries not so much.

On the upside, the week is halfway over!  *edit- Mostly over!!   The wind is dying down and the temperature is finally warming up- woo hoo!!!! I am very excited to see temps in the 70’s and 80’s.  And American Ninja Warrior is back!!  It’s so nerdy how much I love that show.   🙂

Oh and if you are training for and running a fall marathon, head over to Hanna’s page and check out her fall marathon blog roll!   It’s awesome.  It almost makes me want to run a marathon just so I can join all the cool people.  Almost.  🙂  I’ll stick to my 2 half’s this fall.

How was your week?

What’s your tv guilty pleasure?

Anyone racing this weekend?

Run!, Slacker

Of Running and Cats

It’s race week!!!!   I hit 2 out of 3 planned workouts, that’s a good thing right?

My training plan called for actual workouts this week so that was new.  Usually I embrace taper for all its worth and run lazily once or twice leading up to the race.  However the plan wanted 2 easy runs and 1 interval or fartlek workout.   Hmmm, ok.  I headed out Tuesday and marked off my easy run.  It was one of those runs that wasn’t awesome but didn’t suck so it was just meh.    My one complaint was the wind.  I am so over the wind.   It has been windy here for two weeks- it’s never windy around here.  It just makes things so much colder.IMG_0143

My stomach was feeling pissy, so I pushed Wednesday’s speed work to Thursday.  Yay, more wind…and I ran in a tank top.   I was so cold but this was also intentional.   The forecast calls for rain on Saturday and wind on Sunday so I figured I may as well get used to it.  Plus I was testing out a new shirt.    Can’t find out where it chafes if it’s covered up.    But I was the only loony out there in a tank.  Everyone else was bundled up, jackets, gloves, scarves and hats.   Yes, we Cali people hate the cold.  IMG_0155

IMG_0166I didn’t really want to think about intervals so after a warm up, I decide to run a few fartleks.    I forgot to even look at my watch for the first one so I wasn’t sure what time or mileage I started at- oops!  Oddly enough, all of my fartleks ended up being of similar distance, time and pace without too much planning on my part. I called it at 3.5 miles though, I just couldn’t take the wind any longer.  I may be rethinking my race day outfit to include some more layers.IMG_0167

The best part of Thursday’s run was the lake cat.  For a lot of my runs at the lake, I often see a gray and white cat roaming the back of the lake.  I am pretty sure I know which house he comes from but I have always worried that something might happen to him.   Quite a few cars drive that road and don’t always pay attention.  Plus there are lots of people and more than a few dogs, some dogs off the leash.   The last time I saw the lake cat was that run that ended in horrible stomach pain.  That was in March.   I’ve been looking for him every time I have run there since but no luck.  Until Thursday.   I rounded a curve on the backside of the lake and there he was.  I actually yelled “kitty” out loud.   I had to stop and visit, so that was the end of my first fartlek.   🙂     I was so glad to see him.IMG_0154Which made me feel even worse when I got home to find that I had once again traumatized my cat.   😦   After I come home, I usually carry my purse, gym bag, lunch bag, shoes etc into the house to put away.  Kimi would come to meet me and walk around my legs.  One day I was carrying too much and dropped my boots…they landed on her.  It’s been over 2 years and she still bolts if she sees me pick up a pair of boots.    Other shoes are fine but boots and she bolts.   Now she runs from me if I am holding her yellow food dish too.  😦

The other cat had to go on a diet, so I’ve had a bowl of the normal food for her stashed in the bedroom.  The other evening, I went to get it out of a drawer and turned as she was running in.   In my defense, she jumped headfirst into the bowl but now she bolts from the room and hides around the corner.   Waah, I feel so bad!

I took a few days off around SLO- so today was a lovely vacation day.   I planned on getting in my last run but I took a nap instead.  🙂  I tried to work on a new playlist and get this post up sooner but somehow the day ran away from me.  I did meet a friend at the movies this evening.  We went and saw The Longest Ride.   I am not a fan of the books, but somehow we always end up going to the movies.  She and I crack jokes that we are the only who can stand them.  It was pretty good, not great but good, and luckily not as destructive as his movies tend to be.  Which was fine by me since Grey’s Anatomy was rough enough last night.  Now I should probably go to bed, I have an expo to go to tomorrow!  🙂

What do you usually run during race week?

Ever traumatize one of your pets?  😦

Did you watch Grey’s?  Or see The Longest Ride?

Recap, Run!, Slacker

March is Marchin’

March being over already feels like an April Fool’s joke.  It cannot be time for a monthly recap yet!

But it is, so here we go!Marchmiles

Miles- 83.1

Races- Wine Country Half

Highest mileage moth of the year so far even if it’s not quite where I had hoped it would be at the beginning of the month.    Had I hit my weekend long run like planned, I would have been closer to 95.  Which is so close to 100!! But close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades.  Did anyone else grow up with that expression?   I never understood the point.  I mean I do but why say it?

Anyways, moving on.   This was still a damn good month.  I stuck to my training plan fairly well considering I started the month with some crazy tightness and hamstring issues.   March also saw me run a pretty great race , for me, so yay!   I survived a work inspection and filled in at another location.  My stomach was its’ asshat self but I tried to not let it disrupt training too much.    I managed to some mile paces that I haven’t seen in months.    I can’t hold them for very long yet, but even just seeing low 9’s and mid 8’s on my watch is kind of awesome!    Now to work on maintaining them.

That means continuing to stick to my training as closely as I can.    SLO is now less than 30 days away and I am looking forward to race weekend.   A little vacation time, hanging out with runners and running an awesome race.     There’s a local 5K I want to run the weekend after next.  Firehouse 5K, it kicks my butt every year, but it’s such a fun race.   I usually hurt for the following week so I am glad that it falls a little sooner this year.  🙂   All that said, I am glad that I already decided to make SLO a fun race as opposed to a goal race.    At last week’s appointment with my gastro, we decided that the most recent prescription changes were not working.  So I have a shiny new diet to follow.  More on the specifics later, but I had to say goodbye to a lot of things for the next few months.   So very many things.    I am still figuring things out, so right now all I know is that the last few days have been some hungry, tired days.newshoes

I had a scheduling conflict today so I moved my easy run of the week to Monday.   Woof, that was hard.  Not sure if it was because it was a Monday, or because my side still hurt a bit or if it was the dietary changes but it was hard.   So much harder than easy should feel.  I was also testing out my new shoes.  While I love getting new shoes, the break in period is always interesting.    While I think I am going to really like them, I had unusual aches and niggles throughout the run.  I stopped every mile or so to stretch out.  I am not really concerned by this because it has happened every time I have broken in a new shoe style.   It usually takes a week or so of alternating shoes to fully adjust.  But that is one reason I bought them a month before SLO.

How long do you usually take to break in new shoes?

What is your March highlight?

What are you looking forward to in April?

Run!, Stomach

Nonexistent Bridges

Ever have one of those days where it’s all just off?  Nothing wrong, nothing bad happens but it’s still off?  I think I have had one of those days brewing for a while.   And it was set off by a dress this morning. Disclaimer- this is longish and disjointed.

If you’ve read “My Story” page you know my mother and I set about getting healthy and losing weight back in 2012.  If not, skip it as I really need to update it- which is why I’m not linking it.    That was the first time I ever really dedicated myself to getting fit; granted it was the competitor in me that kept me going in the beginning.     Growing up I was a stick, like seriously, turn sideways and you lost me.   However it was the wrong decade for that to be in fashion, so I remember a lot of digs about my lack of curves.   One year, our team tennis skirts were handmade by some lady.  She measured us in public on the tennis court saying the dimensions out loud.    Yeah, that was fun.    One girl laughed and another responded by saying that everyone else would be a normal size while I was measured.  Whatever.   I ate like a bottomless pit so that apparently redeemed me when we went to Carl’s Jr after every away match.   Oh and lunch everyday was fries and Dr. Pepper.  Occasionally a malt.  Does anyone remember those?  I only ever saw them in the school.  I’m not a fan of chocolate ice cream but man those were good.

Senior Year, please ignore the tennis ball on the side
Senior Year, please ignore the tennis ball on the side

Then came the combination of growing up, a slowing metabolism, less physical activity, oh and let’s not forget Taco Bell.   Managers ate for free.  9 years of free food, however I wanted to make it, 5 days a week, more than one meal.   Yeah, you can guess how that went.   My stomach was a jerk even back then, so I wore the guys uniform pants which made it easier to live in denial as well.  Oddly though, I don’t remember ever really thinking about the 60+ pounds that I had put on.  Like I said- uniform denial.  blue

Then I started working with my current employers.  I had to wear real clothes!  Which meant shopping and realizing that maybe I could lose a few.   I naively hoped that no longer having access to tons of free food would take care of that.  Ha!   I didn’t take into account that while my new job wasn’t exactly sedentary it was a drastic cut back from 10 hours of standing, walking, cleaning, lifting 40 lb boxes every day.   I was also suddenly introduced to baked goods.  Who knew brownies tasted so good?  I had a new coworker who was an amazing baker.  To this day, she still makes my favorite chocolate chip cookies.   A couple years of half-assed, yo yo dieting followed, that included another 20 lbs gained then lost. I started running.    Nothing seemed to click until late summer 2012.

Second Wine Country 1/2 - 30lbs over goal?
Second Wine Country 1/2 – 30lbs over goal?

I don’t know if it was the slight competition with my mother or if I was finally just over it.   By making healthier choices and upping the exercise, we both succeeded this time, I hit goal weight in January 2013.  Sweet!   Truthfully, I think I felt the best that year, health wise, stomach wise, running wise and just comfortable in my skin.   Let me be clear that my goal weight was not some ridiculous insane number -I lost 40 lbs.

One year later
One year later
The pops again!
FYI- Pops is wearing the same jacket as the above picture

I kept it off for all of 2013 but put on 5 around Christmas.  Not a huge surprise, no big deal, I’ll just lose it again. Right?  I upped my running in the beginning of 2014 but the weight would just not leave.    I admit that part of the problem was a new “what the hell” attitude.   For example- ” I just ran 10 miles, I can totally have that pizza”.  Seriously faulty logic.  An odd note- I never liked pizza until I lost the weight.    I only ever ate it as a last resort, now I love it.    Weird right?

Then June came along, and my stomach threw its temper tantrum.  And it’s been a looooooong tantrum.  More reinforcement for the faulty logic- if everything makes me sick, guess I should eat whatever right?   Now on good days, I am up 10 lbs, on bad days up 15.  Yes, I can fluctuate more than 5lbs on an hourly a daily basis.  Stupid stomach.

I think it's weird how somedays I feel  skinny and somedays I feel like a busted can of biscuits.
source

It pisses me off but I can’t seem to get out of my own way.    I’ve cut back on sugar, soda, and pizza.  I’ve upped the fruits and vegetables.  I have a stand up desk.  I quit cookie Friday.  Like cold turkey- none on Fridays.   Barring the flu incident in January, my running has been more consistent 3-4x a week.    And still the scale doesn’t move.   Oddly enough, my gastro told me I looked skinny at my last appointment.   We bickered about it for a bit.  Muscle does not weigh more than fat- a pound is a pound.  And trust me, this is not muscle.

A dress made me cry this morning.   I had an important meeting at work- all the managers and executives- and I had planned my outfit for a week.  Then I put it on this morning.  I wore it not too long ago.    The weight is different this time.  It’s all in my bottom half and things don’t fit right.  I wonder if it’s part of what is slowing me down running wise.  Then I wonder if that is just an excuse I am telling myself.  Maybe I just won’t get faster.  And round and round we go.   Then there are days like last Friday where something sets me off and I eat too many donuts.   More bridges to nowhere.   It’s not even the number on the scale really.  It’s how I feel.

In fact, I am not sure where this post is going.  Maybe I just needed to vent, maybe I am looking for advice, maybe commiseration.   I’ve been thinking about writing this for a while but never followed through.    Maybe this is my way of burning bridges that lead nowhere- a trip down memory lane and some venting.

So…thoughts?  Did I even make sense?

And a light-hearted one- Ever disliked a food for most of your life then suddenly love it?