I’m moving!

Okay not really moving moving, but I’m moving blogs!

I have spent a lot of time over here at faith/food/fitness, and this blog has seen a LOT, been read by many, and helped begin many amazing friendships. As this chapter of my blogging career is closing, a new chapter is beginning and I am so excited!

So please take this blog off of your reader, bookmarks, and email subscription list and join me over at my NEW blog, Run, Sweat, and Sparkle!!!

I’ll see ya there!

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Not Created Equal

This is a quick post, but I had to get it out. Not all runs are created equal. No matter if you have been running for 5 weeks or 15 years, you’re gonna have some runs that aren’t so great.

Lately, all of my runs have been awesome, whether they are 5 or 15 miles, and it’s been great, so it was basically due my time for a less than stellar run. This morning when I woke up to run it was thundering and there was a chance of storms, so I moved my 10-miler to the treadmill at the gym. I’ve had no problem long running it on the treadmill in the past, but today was different.

Let me vent:

  • The gym was hotter than normal, talking like 75 degrees inside with no fans or vents on at all (I use the same treadmill every time because there is always a vent that spews cool air periodically). Nope. Not today sucker!
  • I was dripping sweat two miles in and the first two miles felt like I had been running for an hour.
  • I could not establish a groove for the life of me, the whole first half of the run I was trying to ‘get in it’ and it just wasn’t happening.
  • Mentally, I wanted to give up. I probably tried talking myself out of the second half of the run at least three times. Excuses, I was trying to excuse myself. Honestly though, it was mentally TOUGH, and I have no clue why.
  • My legs were feeling dead, pooping out on me, and not wanting to cooperate.
  • Acid reflux. Last night I covered my grilled chicken in Sriracha which was a great idea at the time, but this morning for miles 0-5.65 I was burping like nobody’s business, and everything after mile 5.66 I was trying to not puke.

That is my vent and end of crappy attitude for the day. I’m glad I finished, nothing worth having comes easily, if it was easy then everyone else would be doing it, I’m stronger because of it, enter every motivational quote or saying you can find.

Basically, sometimes things just suck, but that doesn’t mean you give up or quit. Too often it’s easy to throw in the towel because ‘it’s harrrrrrd’ wah wah wah. Take some cheese with your wine and go sit in the corner sulking because something was hard. See how far you get with that. In times like these you’ve just gotta put on your big girl panties and muscle through it, and make yourself awesome.

Have a good Thursday friends, and go water your own grass.

How to Not Pack for a Marathon

I had this great idea yesterday that I would make a helpful post on how exactly how to pack for a race. Since I am the worst packer in the world, I am writing this post on how to successfully not pack for a marathon, because that is what I am currently not doing.

First, when you get home from work, don’t do anything. Sit back on your couch, listen to Pandora, organize your iCal, and muddle around on Pinterest.

Next, take your clean laundry out of the dryer and throw it in a pile on your bed. Don’t fold it. That’s a bit overreaching, don’t you think? Just let it sit there.

Okay now would be a good time to whip out that packing list you made, and start finding the random stuff you need to pack, but don’t actually pack any of it.

As soon as you start getting stuff out, arrange for your best friend to show up to your house and go get frozen yogurt.

Sorry, Aleeza.

Messy hair and no makeup are ideal for froyo outings. If you want the best froyo, go to Yogurtini. If you don’t go to Yogurtini or Yogurtland, you might as well not go.

Proceed to sit around and laugh and talk until it is near closing time, then decide it might be a good idea to finally go home.

This my friends, is how to not pack for a marathon. If you’re anything like me, you’ll end up throwing all your crap in a bag about ten minutes before you go to sleep.

Speaking of sleep, I’m getting tired. I hope I don’t forget to pack my sports bra.

Future-Thinking

Okay, well I left you all on Friday when I was having quite the time recovering from my gallbladder surgery. As I mentioned in that post, I was throwing up early Friday morning with pain that I never wish upon anyone. Me, wanting to get up and move around and heeding my nurse’s advice that walking would help the pain, I set out on a slow, painful, walk around my block. The entire walk I was thinking of how often I take running for granted and never realized it. I typically consider a 4-7 mile run a ‘jaunt around the neighborhood,’ and on Friday it took me over thirty minutes to walk less than half of a mile.

Later Friday afternoon, vomiting ensued and I called my doctor, who told me to visit the ER to get checked out. After a long night of IVs, waiting, me wanting to go home, an injection of Stadol (possibly the worst medical related experience of my life, I’m talking adverse reactions of hallucinations caused by the dang stuff), and more waiting, we were told that I had developed a kidney infection likely from the catheter used during surgery. The ER people were so nice and gave me an antibiotic for the infection and anti-nausea medicine and we were able to go home.

What a difference a few days can make! Despite still being very sore, I’m thinking from both the surgery and kidney infection, my spirits have greatly lifted because I can feel that my body is healing. Though I don’t like taking medication, I know that it is needed right now. I’m also doing the best that I can and giving my body things that I know it needs that will help the healing process–lots of water, my daily dose of chia seeds, wholesome food, vegetables (that I can palate), and rest, which has been the hardest.

Also, instead of focusing on what I can’t do right now, I have averted my attention to things that I am very much looking forward to! I have two min-goals for the week:

  1. Be able to walk for thirty minutes pain-free– I’m not setting a timeline for this goal because I have to listen to my body, but I have faith that it will happen by the end of the week
  2. Be able to run pain free by the weekend– this one may be a stretch, and again, I will be listening to my body BIG time, but these goals are keeping me optimistic

Since I had been so busy in the weeks before surgery, I now have time to share things that I’ve been wanting to share for too long now!

1. I found a new favorite flavor of energy gel! Through this training cycle, I only used gels on my 22 miler, and a chia seed/water mixture for all my other long runs. This one is AMAZING and tastes like a cordial cherry, I would consider running 22 milers more often if it meant I got to eat these!

Plus I noticed that the caffeine gave me a little extra ‘boost’ while I was running!

2. On Sunday I definitely got the froyo fix that I had been longing for, it was perfect. This time I had a 3:1 toppings to froyo ratio which was a-okay. Yogurtini has a banana’s foster topping that you MUST try because it is the best topping I have ever tasted.

That was enough sugar to tide me over for, say, the next three months.

3. This is the medal for the Little Rock Marathon which is now 13 days away!!!! Motivating factor for signing up for this race? Definitely not.

4. I got my new running skirts in the mail and LOVE the Nike one but am sending the K-Swiss one back. It wasn’t the Kelly Green I was hoping for, more like an ugly pine tree green. So the search for more cute running skirts has continued!

5. I also ordered new running shoes in the mail a few weeks back because my old ones were nearing the 450-mile mark which meant my body was yelling at me to get new shoes. I am now on my fifth pair of the same model of Asics, I love them and though I’ve tried to branch out to other shoes, I simply can’t. I love these and they love me. However, I have always gotten the ones with white as the main color because that’s what my local running store had in stock. BUT I found my shoes online and they had my size in other colors, so I did break my norm. I feel like a total nerd wearing these shoes (maybe it’s the neon green?) but they fit my foot like a dream.

6. Which brings me to my next point…I need to figure out what to wear for the marathon in Little Rock, which means I need opinions/help!!! I have always gone for my Adidas short or skirt on bottom, and that pink She Runs LA tank top for major races, but it’s time to change it up.

Haha! I’m a creature of habit, what can I say??

I know that I’ll be wearing the neon green laced running shoes for sure, so I was considering going with the new Nike skirt (after I give it a test run, of course), a new black Under Armour dry fit t-shirt that I just got and totally love, and investing in a pair of these neon green Zensah compression sleeves, obnoxious much?

Or should I totally scrap this idea and go with something else? I can say that a deal breaker is that if it is sunny on race day, there is no way on EARTH that you will find me in a black shirt. I could do grey or another sweat showing color but definitely not black. Basically, give me your opinions please. Since I cannot currently run, I am naturally thinking about all things running, and this is a great time to plan my marathon outfit. Yes, some girl runners think of these things. Only for races though, because there are cameras, you know.

7. I had to turn my attitude around. Yes, I could use this time to be mopey, sad, and upset about my current situation but I CHOSE to turn my attitude around. Am I frustrated? You betcha. You name it and I’ve probably felt it, but today I decided that I’m only going to be focusing on the positives of this extended rest period that I am getting. Here’s to being extra rested for my next go at 26.2!

Finally, a big huge THANK YOU to my awesome mom for taking care of me. She’s the best, whether it be cheering me on to finish at a race, hanging with me at the ER for 6 hours on a Friday night or scolding me for trying to, um, ‘speed up’ my recovery. Love you little, love you big, love you like a little pig. Love you Mom!

Bump in the Road

Hello, friends. As many of you know, I had surgery to have my gallbladder removed this past Tuesday, on Valentine’s day. I went into this day not thinking much of it, because I had heard from most people that it was a procedure in which they were feeling great a week or so after it happened, with little recovery needed after surgery.

As with most things in life, I entered it with a pretty nonchalant attitude, expecting them to do the procedure and get to go home after I got out of recovery. See…looking pretty nonchalant in pre-op if you ask me! The ‘thumbs up’ has become my signature pose, as my mom brought to my attention.

I was just ready to do that thing and get it done. Truth be told, I have never had surgery on anything below the neck and had no clue what to expect. Despite this, I still entered this situation with no fear, as this was just a little bump in the road that would be taken care of and I would be feeling great afterwards.

The reason I needed this surgery is because many weeks ago I had some odd symptoms that I finally visited the doctor about, got an abdominal ultrasound and they found that I had gallstones, and the means of removing them are to just take the whole gallbladder out. After surgery, the doctor told my mom that I had one LARGE gallstone the size of a ping pong ball…yeesh!

Source

All I quite remember directly after surgery was being in post-op, opening my eyes and saying “I think I’m going to throw up,” and “Oh my gosh my stomach hurts so bad,” in whatever anesthetic mumble I could get out. I did not expect this at all. The nurse was so kind, constantly checking my pain levels (which did not subside), calling my mom to let her know how I was doing and trying to comfort me best he could. I have normally high tolerance for pain, but when they eventually sat my bed up without warning me I cried like a baby.

The next thing I knew, they had moved me to a room to keep me overnight. This was not going as I planned, expected or hoped at all. All of the medicine was making me nauseous, I couldn’t eat, and the pain was getting the best of me. Thankfully I was able to come home on Wednesday afternoon and the recovery process is proving to be a longer one than what is ‘typical.’

I’m still keeping my faith in healing, but am more frustrated than anything. I haven’t been able to eat anything other than jello and applesauce since Tuesday, and last night I woke up throwing up twice in the middle of the night with hiccup spells in between. The pain is worse now than it was in the hospital and I am just praying that this all passes and quickly.

I would be lying if I said I wasn’t worried about Little Rock. I’m not going to push my recovery from this surgery. I might even have to walk the marathon, which isn’t what is ideal to me at this point, but it’s reality. I will cross that bridge when I get to it.

This post is not a ‘poor me’ post, even though it’s probably a downer one. It’s me being reminded once again that I’m not always in control and despite circumstances, I still must keep my faith that this situation will pass. It’s going to help me grow as a person and as a runner. All I can say though is that I hope this thing is over soon.

Thank you to everyone who has been checking in on me, praying me, sending me flowers and visiting me, it makes things a whole lot less sucky 🙂

A Runner’s Rambles

1. Yesterday I ran 22 miles. On the treadmill. People may wonder how I am not brain dead by now, and I don’t blame them. I’ve wondered this myself. The first 13 miles were fantastic actually, I felt like I could have ran all day. Then I had a gallbladder attack, then my feet started to hurt, then I got pissed, then I turned into a zombie and just kept running.

2. Pole dancing was rescheduled from tonight because my awesome best friend had to go to Texas to interview for a job that she realllllllly wants, and since that job is not in the art of dancing on a structure that resembles that of a pole, our plans were postponed. There will still be lots of pictures when it happens, no worries.

3. I used to make fun of people who wore running skirts, but I am completely converted

They are the best things to run in EVER! I’m so much of a convert that I recently purchased this one to add to the collection:

and literally, very literally, just purchased these two which I am hoping will be at my door on Monday morning:

I think I have developed such a liking for running in skirts for several reasons

  • I feel like a girl in them which is the first thing I need when I’m sweating like a man while running for 4 hours
  • My thighs are bigger than my waist when it comes to bottom sizes, so shorts that fit in the waist are tight in the thighs and make me feel all uncomfortable. Running in a skirt alleviates that because I am freeeeeee
  • Running skirts are freaking cute
  • I don’t chafe in skirts, need I say more?

4. Slutty Brownies, anyone? Seriously, who thinks of this stuff?

5. I think that if people who wanted to hunt deer became runners they would have a lot more luck actually killing deer instead of by sitting perched up in a treehouse in the woods.  I kid you not while out on the trails last week, I came across over 16 white tails and have seen many bucks out there too. You know what they do when I run by? Stand there and stare at me. I even said hi and waved at one while I passed it. Running really does make you crazy.

6. I have not had frozen yogurt since before Thanksgiving. This is a sad, sad, world record. Let’s have a moment of silence.

7. Does anyone want to go with me to have pre-surgery froyo this weekend? Please?

8. Instead of froyo I have been eating a lot of salads and vegetables and things that are healthy for me. I also discovered this bread and shall never buy any other kind of bread ever again because there is no way it will be half as good as this stuff is.

All I am really really really looking forward to this weekend is a morning workout with a gal pal and hopefully some frozen yogurt…I hope you have more to look forward to than I do 🙂

Chicago and Other Stuff

A few months ago, after running my first marathon, a common emotion to have is along the lines of, “Now what? What’s next?” Of course I was asked these questions by countless different people. I had already signed up for my upcoming marathon which is now less than four weeks away, so I just told people I would keep running. Easy enough.

I had a few conversations that went exactly like this :

Them: “Well what about Chicago, why don’t you run the Chicago Marathon?” *goes on to explain how amazing Chicago is*
Me: “HA! HA! I don’t think I would ever like to do a big race like that. It seems overrated. Plus the people and congestion…no thanks. Running Chicago isn’t something I’ve ever really wanted to do. I’d love to visit, but forget the marathon.”

Actually, I believe I had this conversation with someone about a month ago. I have always wanted to go and spend time and visit Chicago, but not run 26.2 miles with 45,000 other people through the streets of the city! Marathon mornings can be stressful enough as is, let alone being in a new, huge city, relying on public transportation to get you to the start of the race on time, and who knows what else could happen.

Blah blah blah.

Says the girl who is registered to run the 2012 Bank of America Chicago Marathon.

Source

A month ago I made a resolution for this year to run four marathons in four states, but did NOT plan on one of those being Chicago. I was going for smaller, more familiar states such as Arkansas, Nebraska, and Texas. Texas is reallllllly comfortable (90% of my family lives there).

Turns out that God surprised me again and had dreams for me that were bigger than the ones I had for myself. You think that I would eventually get used to this by now, but no. It’s like an upgrade at a concert; I’m in the nosebleeds happy to be in the same room as the concert and God is all like, “No here, why don’t I just move you to the front row and give you VIP treatment and back stage passes and you can just go on the rest of the tour with the band and marry the lead singer, ok?” Or something along those lines.

You get my point, right? So I’m just taking what He’s giving me and running with it. Literally. Ha. Ha. No that wasn’t funny, I know.

So yes, last week I registered to run the Chicago Marathon which is exactly eight months away.

Another goal that I set for myself this year was to run a marathon to raise money for a charity. Two weeks ago on a recovery run I was racking my brain for which charity I wanted to raise money for, I mean come on, there are THOUSANDS!!! I asked myself a questions, “Which one am I most passionate about?” Because without passion behind what I do, it would be nothing. Suddenly, a light clicked on. How about the organization I volunteer for, Girls on the Run? That makes sense…raise money for an amazing organization that I love volunteering for, you think I would have imagined that sooner!

Upon registering I was also VERY happy to find that Girls on the Run is one of the main 2012 charity partners for the Chicago Marathon which means it will be even more impacted. Be on the lookout in the next few months for links to my fundraising page, and I’ll also have posts solely dedicated to talking more about Girls on the Run, why it means so much to me, how it has impacted my life as well as the lives of so many young women.

Needless to say, 2012 is already blowing my mind. I had dreams for this year, but my world has already been rocked by the awesome stuff that is going on and what is to come in the future months!

Now for the other stuff from my title.

1. I have a 22 mile long run looming over my head for Thursday. I was talking with a good friend at lunch on Sunday and we were discussing how even though you can be passionate about something and love it until no end, doesn’t mean that sometimes it doesn’t make you want to cuss. I love running. I love racing. But the idea of running for 22 miles (not in a race) is not something I exactly look forward to. Notice the use of ‘looming’? Pretty negative connotation there if I do say so myself.

2. With the coming of this super long run though means one thing–it’s almost time to taper! Yessss. I can taper. I am a master taper-er. After this Thursday I’ll be cutting down my mileage until it’s time to race in Little Rock. This training program I made for myself this time around is only 8 weeks long versus my first training plan that was 16 weeks (puke!) and it has flown by! I have found myself actually looking forward to most of my runs and enjoying them way more than I ever did on the last cycle, because I think I haven’t been a slave to training this time.

3. I will really be practicing my taper skills next week because I’m celebrating Valentine’s day by permanently getting my gallbladder detached from my insides and will have to recover, however long that takes. Loooong story short, about two years ago I would get insane cramps on my right side that would literally leave me in a whining mess on the floor because they hurt so bad that I couldn’t stand. I went through six weeks of tests only to be put on a probiotic by some doctor who was a complete idiot. A rude, old, fart.

The pain would only come back randomly, and me being as stubborn as I am just passed it off and figured it was something I would live with. Almost two months ago I was having symptoms that were getting on my nerves so I finally went to the doctor, got an abdominal ultrasound and they found that I have gallstones. Honestly, I was so relieved. I know that gallstones are something they can take care of and be done with. I don’t exactly fit the stereotype for people who develop gallstones, despite my healthy diet and active lifestyle, I still got those suckers. My biggest concern was obviously if it would affect training and potentially the marathon. The surgeon said that he is putting all restrictions on my activity for the first week, but after that I will be responsible for going based on how I feel and listening to my body.

Listening to my body was something I thought that I had mastered, but alas will be put to the test next week. I am really just looking forward to getting this thing over with because it has been a pain in my side. Literally.

4. Friday I am taking a pole dancing class with some girlfriends for my best friend’s very belated birthday celebration. There will be pictures. Aleeza you didn’t read that last part.

Happy Fat Tuesday y’all!