Wednesday, June 29, 2016

My 7th Race-aversary!

Over the weekend I did a local 5K. I really didn't think about it at the time, but after I got home I realized it was the weekend I'd done my very first 5K 7 years ago. My first race ever was the Peach Festival 5K in Louisiana. I left that race to go straight to the computer and find another one. I was in love!

This was my 84th 5K. I've now done 137 races altogether. That includes twenty 10Ks, twenty half marathons and one full marathon.

Considering the life-challenges makes each finish line I cross just a little bit sweeter. This race was HOT! I figured they didn't know what they were doing when I saw the race didn't start until 9 o'clock - in the middle of June. That's a winter race time - not the middle of the summer race time! I was right too. And..they didn't have a drop of water on the course; not one water stop. It was also billed as the "Bands on the Run" and the whole reason I signed up for this race was they said they would have live bands "all along the course." Yeah right. There was a live band playing at the start line - and gone by the time we got done. And there was a poor lonely guy playing a saxophone at the turn around. It was sad. lol. But I lived.

The heat was the biggest challenge for this race. I really don't need to run in the heat. But with all points considered I did well. The first mile was good but after that I could feel the effects of the heat and pulled back a lot. They didn't give out the standard awards, but I would have placed second in my AG.

 I have purposefully been focusing on hydration over the last few weeks. It's one of those things that's real confusing to me. The doc told me to limit my fluid intake if I'm not running, and to increase it if I am. Well, if I watch my sodium intake and exercise at least 30 minutes every day I don't seem to have too much trouble with water retention. I'm also taking a small dose of a diuretic each day to help. So it's confusing - I think my solution is to just run everyday. That way I'm running - and I should hydrate! lol.

I'm doing much better with my eating under control; and I'm starting to feel LOTS better. And I even have more energy to boot. Today I go do blood work to prepare for my cardiologist appointment next week. I've put it off for a month but the nurse called last week and told me to get in and get it done! So I am.

I think running with a chronic condition makes me be much more aware of my body. I have to do more reflecting on why I do the things I do. And honestly, I've had to cut a few things out. I have to think about every thing I do and every thing I eat - Is this going to help me?  Or is it going to hinder? 

Even though I've struggled the last few weeks - with fatigue and blood pressure issues - I'm beginning to surface back out on top. I look at my medals and think of all I've come through and each one of them represents lots of victorious steps in my life. So today as I start year 8 of running - I smile. No matter how fast, how slow, how sluggish or energetic I feel -  every step's a victory.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Today's the Day!

That's it!! So I have been stepping up the miles this week as well as my activity in general. I've also been watching my sodium lots better this week. Last night in a weak moment I finished off the last of the ice cream. Today's the day to go totally clean.

As a health coach, I know what to do - but even with the training and knowledge, it doesn't make it any easier. Add to that all the other many factors of having a condition like CHF, and it is an uphill battle. Personally, I battle depression and emotional eating. Am I a failure? Nope. I figure I'm in a better position to help others because I really do understand! Kind of like teaching math. Not only am I good at it - I'm gentle and patient with my students because I also struggled in math. The struggles make us stronger in the long run.

With that being said - I am going to the store today and my son and I are both taking the leap. We're going to eat totally clean and raw - as much as is reasonable and possible. Since we are all individuals and very different in our needs, he has dietary needs that I will meet, but will do so with healthy, whole, and natural options.

The last two days I've had wonderful runs in the morning and left the treadmill wanting more time to run. Today it was like running through sludge, my blood pressure was up and I just wasn't feeling it. I only did one very easy mile and might get more in later if I get everything all leveled out. This is the frustrating part of having to listen to my body. I'd much rather drag it up on the TM and tell it to do 2, 3 or 4 more miles. And I would feel like a champion for winning.

But then I take the chance of an overdo and wind up out of the game for recovery time. So instead, I listened to my body, got in an easy mile and survive to run again. I remind myself that whether it's 20,000 steps, 3,000 steps or just a few - every step's a victory!

And when I listen to my body - and do what it needs - I am winning the war one battle at a time.

So today is it. I'm headed out to get some grub that is going to set me up to win even more. I anticipate sugar withdrawals and have no recourse but to suck it up and get through it. But it's time to do it; and it's got to be done.

I'm kind of excited - as I always welcome a challenge. I've made enough small changes over the last few weeks that it's not that big of a difference from here (except the sugar part).

Change is never easy. But it is welcomed as I embrace a hopeful and healthier future. What is your biggest challenge? Do you struggle with cravings? Is there anything you know you need to give up but are afraid to? Or are you like me and just don't want to? lol. Tell me about it.

Keep putting one foot in front of the other - and remember every step is a victory!

Monday, June 20, 2016

2 Races - One Weekend!

This past weekend was lots of fun. On Friday night, I pushed my son for the first time in his new racing chair. My daughter and I had pushed him in a borrowed one a few weeks back, but this was our first trip out in his own chair.

First off, it was hot, hot hot. (We won't do that again!!) It was actually too hot to be safe for either of us and if my friend hadn't helped I would have probably overdone it. Secondly, Chris' chair kept malfunctioning - I gotta make some adjustments for sure.

I knew I had to take it easy as the heat and I do not get along any more. My heart rate ran quite a bit higher than I am used to and it stayed up. It wouldn't come down to my "normal" even when walking - even though it really wasn't dangerously high. A lot of it was due to several factors:

  • I have not trained in the heat this year - only on the TM inside
  • I have not been eating right
  • I have not been training right
  • I've gained a little weight back
  • I had not practiced pushing the chair at all
Lesson learned. I have since gotten my act back together and am taking steps in the right direction once again. You know, I know this stuff - and I know what I need to do to maintain and to be able to continue enjoying the sport of running. Why is it so difficult

One problem I have in particular, is that I do a lot of emotional eating. Right now, I've adjusted my game plan so it's not an issue. Mornings start a lot earlier which means I got to bed earlier - and that alleviates the late night temptations. Also, I just flat don't keep anything in the house that I shouldn't have (except ice cream - but it's low sodium). 

My second race this weekend was a 10K early Saturday morning. I have not been training, as I mentioned before and what I have done has been on the treadmill. I didn't know how it would go - especially after such a rough 5K on Friday night. Turned out - we had a nice little cold front come through on Friday night and a rain storm So the weather was about as perfect as it can be during June in Oklahoma. But I still went out easy and just enjoyed a gentle run through the rolling hills.

My goal in doing the two races back to back was to sort of give myself a re-start. It's got me back in training mode and I'm looking forward to getting back into the groove. I have another 5K coming up this Saturday and I'm planning on pushing my son in this one too. 

It feels like I have to start over all the time. I get more frustrated with myself than with anything. But once again, I've come back to start and I'm ready to kick this thing. Plus, I have a cardiologist appointment next week and I want to be in good shape when I go. Gotta get the BP back down and keep it in a safer range, keep the salt under control. I have not felt well lately and I'm sure it's 99% because I haven't been sticking to the plan.

Deep breath... suck it up... adjust and proceed. I had a nice 4 mile run today and a 6 miler scheduled for tomorrow. I have to remember that literally everything - either helps or hinders my progress. I'm still moving - and I'm barely still winning. So for today - I just have to remember

Every step (in the right direction) is a victory!