The Adventures of Now

exploring the mix of fun, fitness & health…as a diabetic


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The need to reset

Where is that girl who would get up at 5am to walk 15 blocks in the February cold to go to the gym? Or the one that would get in a few (struggling) miles before a draining day at the office, breaking it up with a lunchtime yoga session & rushing out to make it to a soccer game? Or who would collapse in a drenched neon heap at yoga, straight from a training run this summer? Occasionally after another yoga class earlier that morning. Or more simply, went to yoga several days a week or sweated up a storm on the elliptical for 30 minutes?

I want her back.

Maybe not to the extent of 3-a-day or making it the focus of my schedule – that luxury is over. But this trade off of being glued to my chair all day is not working. I’ve had the “too much time at the office, no energy left” excuse – this isn’t that. Worse. I do have time to go to the gym, I’m finally getting 8-9 hours of sleep (unheard of in this city).

So what’s my deal?

I lost my goal, I lost my focus.

Without digging up drama and focusing too much on the past, short & sweet: November 2011 I set a goal – to run the NYC marathon. The very next NYC marathon. I won’t deny it – part of me liked the fact that it fell on 2012 (duh, the very next year). I have a thing for even numbers and have even appreciated all my graduations falling on an even year, plus it marked 4 years post college and 26(.2) miles while 26 yro. So began a year planning. Everything became “for the marathon.” I loved joining a soccer team this past winter & spring but left when training started to avoid injury. But as much “sacrificing”, I think deep down it became a bit of a scapegoat too – blood sugar battles and nutrition fights were in vain of the marathon.

And money? Ha! They say running is cheap – they lied. MRIs, physical therapy co-pays, compression sleeves (worth it), more strips for bloodtests, increased groceries for hunger, nutrition and low blood sugars. And yes, the self justified items like a garmin. Not really what severance packages are suppose to be for.

This makes me sound bitter, regretful – I’m not. It’s been an amazing journey and I’m so grateful for it.

It’s about goals. Something that’s discussed a lot in the upcoming weeks.

Since I can remember (age 3&1/2) I’ve always had one major goal : A1c of 5 or 6. I didn’t pick this goal. I didn’t set the perimeters for it. I didn’t outline the consequences for failing or straying. It was all laid out for me. …… Except for the part on how to realistically achieve it – for my lifestyle & health. See, I’m not the only one with this goal – ask any Diabetic. Many even achieve it.

I have never gotten even close. On a scale of 5-12, I often sit at a 9, it’s a achievement if I get it to 8.x. Do you know what it’s like to do a check-in every 6 months (ideally) and each time fail at reaching your goal? Since you were a kid? Maybe you do, there are a lot of different goals out there. The funny thing is, I often hear many people tell me how “in control” I am, how well I manage the Diabetes. Deciding not to drink doesn’t give me a free pass to perfect A1c – especially if chocolate is involved. So while I don’t often address this issue (aside from every bite and shot where I’m calculating perfection vs consequence), it lingers.

The marathon gave me a tangible goal of sorts – I would get a shiny pretty medal for it – which would justify everything (gained & given) “for the marathon.”

But still, why the pity party? It’s been WEEKS since that goal date has come and gone. I may not be at my highest moment currently but I have been so lucky during recent events and there are soooo many people who sacrifice, battle and overcome during training. Yet, pity party it has been.

It’s true, I wasn’t my strongest on November 4th. In fact the 4 miles I managed with some teammates that day were not easy (though tremendously moving). My immune system was kicking my butt.

So I took a break.

Apparently a month+ long break (with one very sad exception of 2 miles in early November). I wasn’t with my team, the negativity around the marathon which I apparently took very personally weighed me down, and I was just thrown some new elements in what felt like my never ending fight with my body. Running just wasn’t fun. At the same time I was being zapped of my energy with no direct reason so the extra push was harder to find (of course when you need it most…).

But the thing was – it wasn’t just a break from running , it was a break from everything.

To be fair – part of it was the immune battle. While nothing overly serious, it had me dreading the gym. So I started slacking, failing my GymPacts, skipping my favorite yoga classes and opting for newly acquired cable over apartment workouts ( roommates mom staying with us for 10 days may have something to do with that).

It’s not just the exercise. When I was home for a wedding the second weekend of November I discovered Nutella & cookie dough. And consumed them both. Yep that’s right. A whole jar of Nutella and a roll of cookie dough. Don’t judge. That is not ok for anyone, let alone a diabetic (see part about A1c). Like really not ok. No wonder those 2 miles felt awful – they were fueled by cookie dough. I really should stop looking at the desserts on Pinterest that shoot up my bloodsugar just by repinning. And while most of my teammates are rejoicing about being able to skip the PB & bagel, I’ve turned to it for one too many meals.

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So no exercise & binges …. You can imagine I’m feeling pretty good right about now. I was feeling sick going into Thanksgiving let alone no Turkey Trot this year (not my fault) and tacking on those few extra calories.

Don’t even get me started on all the holiday talk.

I know, you want to shake me by my shoulders and tell me to snap out of it – to quite my whining. I do too. While I’ve gained intentions to get back on track it’s been all (whispered) talk and no action – my pet peeve. Kind of like how they tell you to just set your alarm an hour earlier to fit in a morning workout, only it just produces an extra hour of hitting the snooze button – not really the arm workout I’m aiming for.

Excuses, justifications, embracing and fighting. Yada yada yada. Eventually something needs to break you out of that trance many call a rut.

Many of my teammates & the running community threw out race options and alternative marathons. Florida in January – perfect, mom could actually watch me run it now instead of being my biggest supporter from a distance….

Oh right, that whole mounting medical bills and babysitting while looking for a new job thing. So I’m out for that. Even local races – race fees add up. I have so much love & appreciation for the running community and its organizations & it sucks to say it but $50 for a 5k was not happening – I’m sitting out for winter racing.

But that doesn’t mean I have to sit out of running. And definitely not out of the gym (as I wuss out from the cold).

I went from being in full force to a dead stop – and it hurts my body way more than a 18 miler.

Time to set some new goals – and equally important, some new commitments.

{to be continued…}

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Running paused but fundraising help still needed!!

 

Until the MRI on Friday there’s a pause button on my running schedule.

I don’t want to talk about it. 

Especially with a track workout out (remember how much fun) , a first time 16 miler & a fun Color Run on the agenda for this week.

But while I want to burst in to tears when I see a runner or the thought of  the words “4-6 weeks rest”  I’m going to try to remember the bigger picture….why I’m doing this .

 So while I start to prepare a plan B action of how to  strengthen for the marathon , I’m going to continue to spread my motto of finding the fun & confidence in health.

Would you please consider donating to  my fundraising efforts to not only support me (which is deeply felt) but the thousands of children it positively impacts?? 

For the price of a coffee (and that’s good stuff) you can show your support for finding happiness in health.



THANK YOU!!!!

 


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14 Long, tough, slow miles

Last Saturday hit 14 miles, wrapping up the 11th week of training it hit the half way mark & provided as a turning point…and a reminder to check in on fueling and injuries…

 

Given that I skipped my runs during the week due to the shin splints, I wasn’t too sure how the long run was going to go. I was hoping that it would be like last weekend and my legs needed to just warm up.

My second concern was the new battle of needing fuel but bloodsugars saying no. I had HoneyStingers instead of chomps (more per serving = being able to mix up carb amounts more) and did 1/2 serving of Cytomax split between two bottles in my fuel belt (5 carbs each).

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I was excited for this run because it was taking us across Queensborough bridge and around Roosevelt Island – something I always wanted to explore when I lived down in the 60s.

I knew Jackie wouldn’t be there this weekend but figured I would be able to stick around the beginners group that I’m usually with. I caught up with Erica before we started but I knew that even with her taking it easy I wouldn’t keep up …especially if I was taking it easy for my shins.

Already overly thirsty before our warm up and having chugged some Nuun on the bus down I hopped into the bathroom line after our jog which lead to missing the pre-stretching. When I returned to the group I followed the coaches directions to where everyone was ……only to quickly realize that it was either the advance or intermediate group …. none of the usuals. I quickly asked another coach where the beginners group was and ran down the block (essentially making a circle). Flashback to that fear of being left behind by the team when the bus stopped.

And we were off!

Garmin was being stupid and wouldn’t catch a satellite ….didn’t help that I didn’t reset it until we were already moving. After playing with it for the first half of the bridge I figured I would just start it from the bottom.

I didn’t feel awesome from the start but got into a discussion over compression sleeves/socks with some girls and Erica for the better part. As soon as we hit Queensborough Bridge Park I started to drop back (uh from 10:25 to 12:03?).

When we got over to Roosevelt Island they had a Gatorade stop set up (thank you TFKer Michael Ann!!) so I did a blood test check in – 233 …. no fuel for me! So I tried to ignore the 2 bottles of Cytomax and just drank the water. When we passed it again at about 6.5 I did another bloodtest – 155 ….still no fuel but then I started mixing in the Cytomax, spreading out the 11 carbs. I was hurting after this. I needed fuel but not going to happen. I was drinking water but not an insane amount and was feeling a mixture of thirst and water logged. At around mile 7 I thought I might actually throw up. It had nothing to do with bloodsugars. It was having nothing to go with the liquid. Around this time one of our coaches feel in step with us ( I was a few feet behind two others) and we started chatting fuel. He’s an ultramarathoner who usually runs with the advance group so I haven’t really ran with him since the open house fun run. He seemed to have a more natural approach to fueling and agreed with the less but more often / steady approach. When we reached the Gatorade stop for the final time I did another check in – 110 – finally! I could pop some chews. I took 6, I probably could have gotten away with 4 but I thought about how there was 5 miles left. At this point I got dizzy. Luckily we were waiting for more water and the gang to regroup (though I was one of the last to come in) so I was able to double over and catch my breath. It was not an awesome feeling.

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Then we headed back across Roosevelt Island Bridge … by the time I hit the road again I was dragging! On Roosevelt Island I would catch up with some of the group along the water stops but this time they were far ahead. I caught up to two of the guys during the stop lights but on the way back over Queensborough bridge they were just in eye sight. I played music but barely paid attention. I did try to pay attention to my form, ignored the fact that there was no more water until the end and tried to just push forward. I finally made it to the end. I had completely given up any care about my pace or the fact that I was one of the last few. Did those facts suck ? Of course – but if I gave even a second to those thoughts it would have killed any remaining energy I had.

So while the legs weren’t it the best of shape it was more about the fueling that made it rough. It definitely helped to be in a totally new area

 

The splits don’t quite break it down but it’s approx 14 miles.

 


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Stupid shin splints

They’re baaaaack.

Stupid shin splints.

What up shins : 

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While there’s some hot spots along the area for Anterior Stress Syndrome that reminds me of my high school sports days, the bigger issue is MTSS. Basically if anyone were to touch where the arrow points, I couldn’t be held accountable for my actions. At a standstill it’s tender with occasional light throbbing. On impact I can feel it jarring and travel more towards my Tibia (do I get my PHD now?). This is the same pin point spot that I thought might be on the verge of stress fracture back  in the spring.

 Interesting fact I just learned : shin splint pain is usually vertical where stress fracture pain is usually horizontal. Noted.  

So what’s the cause? Well here’s the perfect formula for nagging shin splints, no surprises here:

  • Running on the road
  • Hills
  • Picking up the pace
  • Not wearing compression sleeves
  • Not doing calf stretches aside from downward dog
  • Icing less
  • Not giving enough recovery time during last little phase.

In the past few weeks I’ve been running less around the reservoir (soft surface) and more on the road, whether it’s the central park loop (hello Harlem hills), east river or the side walk itself (worst offender). That alone means I should have been prepping my calves.

While I’m still figuring out pacing and have some seriously slow moments, I’ve also been picking up the pace on some miles. Another major contributor to beating up my calves & shins. Should have seen it coming.

Then add in hills? Yep, that’ll do it.

I only did 2 or 3 runs with out compression sleeves and had no major issues but against the other factors add support would have been helpful. This problem should be avoidable now. I found my second pair of sleeves (under my bed of course) which are the newer and therefore tighter. I also just got a pair of Pro Compression socks for recovery.

Stretching. Sigh. This may be one of the biggest reasons I should not run alone. So I don’t cop-out on stretching. I’m better than I use to be but I’m some one who needs to put some serious effort into stretching….in addition to yoga…right after my run. The key is to do it before I get back to my apartment. In Central Park, at the gym, hell on the sidewalk (like I don’t already).

Ice. I actually have been icing my left shin the most. But I need to do it more. And all those little ice cups taking over my freezer door? They’re ready for some ice massage. Nightly.

Ice door – check.  Prepping ice cups – check.  Ice pack (from a lunchbox), compression sleeves & sweatpants – check. 

Recovery. So shin splints are what kicked off the injury avalanche during my half marathon training. I ignored them. Then I thought I had a stress fracture. That was fun. I’m still not entirely convinced there wasn’t one to some degree. Meaning that I cut “recovery” pretty close. Part of me feels guilty & weak for cutting back lately,  by now I’ve officially skipped 2 runs and 1 option one, especially as I was just starting to pick it up. But knowing what ignoring the pain does, I’m trying to remember the long-term goal here. I’m going to take it day by day. If a run can happen – great, my mind will be even more in the game (once you can’t have something…). If cardio cross-training needs to happen then ok. Maybe I’ll get serious on the bike. If neither of those are making me happy between my ankles and my knees then more yoga it is. There will also be some serious sticking and foam rolling.

Stupid shin splints.  

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Have you ever battled with shin splints?

Any annoying re-occurring injuries?

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{Related Links}

Changing her stride got rid of shin splints || life of bylss

Fit Sugar has a bunch of advice re: shin splints that I’ve pinned


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Return of Summer Streets

 

I have to be on a bus to Southampton at 9:30am tomorrow.

That means tomorrow’s TFK Long Run in the Bronx isn’t going to work. When I first realized I wasn’t going to be able to do my 13 miles with the team and  my running buddy Jackie I wanted to cry. No, really. Everyone has been talking about how great of a route it is and plus I’m going to miss the olympic viewing party after. Even more,  Jackie will be out-of-town for the next two weeks – which means 3 weeks we’re on own, just when we decided we’re in this for the long haul together.  I had been trying to figure out various options of what time I needed to be out there, what options were available and how far Van Cortlandt Park really is, and I had to finally conclude that it wasn’t happening. 13 miles on my own. I had deja vu of my first half marathon and the same exact lack of enthusiasm. I scrambled for plan B.  Hamptons Marathon does group runs with Gubbins  on Sunday … I could just move it a day. In fact I recommended it to a fellow TFK’er, Erica, when she said she was going out this weekend. But it’s in East Hampton and I don’t necessarily have access to a car.  I could run it with Erica, but she’s slightly faster than me and also in EH. And then in the middle of downward dog and sun salutations I remembered! Summer Streets start this week!  Gone was the zen breathing (ok it was never there) and with each move into a pose I was calculated how to make this work.

When I got home I looked up the course – 7 miles  of Park Avenue closed off.  Out and back will get me my 13+ …..perfect!

via treehugger.com 

Summer streets is where I  really pushed myself in running last year. It’s where I broke PRs (how far I’ve come!) . It’s where I battled the heat and focused on hydration and fueling. It’s where I learned about running on empty …fuel and insulin ….and how that doesn’t work. It’s where I got caught up in the excitement of other runners.

By taking it to summer streets  I wouldn’t really  be running alone, and there’s excitement in the air and water stops along the way. That was instantly settled. But now about time.  13 miles.  Right now that’s looking to take me 2h30m – 2h45m. While I plan to sleep and “recover” on the bus  (wishful thinking of  there being room to stretch my legs …so not going to happen) I want to leave enough time to shower, ice and stretch.  Goal is to be back at my apartment by 8:30. That’s not really a goal but more of deadline. Ok so working backwards….that has me heading out  at 5am. Blech. Having gone back to a night owl routine that’s rough, but I’d be beating the sun to head up to the Bronx anyways so not much difference.

Now, summer streets doesn’t really start until 7am. And a good handful of blocks below me.  Last year I was  closer to the start and usually didn’t go out until 10-11.  So technically I might  be on my own for at least half  of the run but  all the activities and people will be up and going to push me through the end.   If I was staying in the city I would totally stop at 40th st rest stop for massage therapy & yoga! (Does someone want to bring myself down and meet me at the 39th street Jitney stop instead?  I’ll just be there getting a massage while waiting for the bus. You do? Awesome, you’re the best, thanks!) 

My shins aren’t too happy with me for skipping the compression sleeves lately and all of the hill / street work so I’m a little nervous  about a long run on the concrete. I’ve been heating my calves, icing my shins and have grand plans of some serious sticking & foam rolling this evening. Perhaps to episode 2 of Saved by the Bell which I recently discovered on Netflix.

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If you’re in NYC have you ran Summer Streets? Are you going tomorrow??

Any suggestions for Netflix entertainment while massaging the heck out of my muscles ? 

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{running newbie} : Track / Ladder Workout

Who knew I’d be fist pumping “this is awesome” in my head while running around a track??

The track scared me – it conjured up memories of gym class track & field unit which was more humbling than volleyball & was harder to fake then gymnastics. I remember counting laps and it seemed to take forever to reach 4 …and that half a lap seemed like a really far distance for my friends to be head of me.

A lot has changed. 14 laps seemed totally achievable and easy to count out. Ok, I may not have known it was 14 laps until I just added up the intervals, but broken up with a max set of 3 laps gave me the “anything for 5 min” mentality.

I knew I wasn’t going to be able to join the TFK’s practice last Wednesday night so it was a true test of following a plan and stepping outside of my comfort zone – all by my own motivation. Thomas Jefferson Park track was where it was going to go down. Since I wasn’t going to run until after 8p I decided to switch it to Thursday night when I could head over with plenty of sunlight left. I opted for 6p. I jogged a mile along the east river for my warm up and the crossed over the bridge at 112th street.

I thought there might be a soccer game going on but didn’t care – I had seen some people running around the track before. The park was busy! Walking past the playground I saw families – including  a few moms making the equipment their gym – awesome! I stepped onto the track and soccer was in full swing. A game was going on in the center of the track for adults but there were plenty of children kicking a ball or a few around. Kids that just learned how to walk were chasing after balls.

The moment I took off for my first lap I felt a spring in my step. It was awesome to feel some speed. Instead of feeling the plan daunting I thought : 1 lap – look how short it seems now, I can totally knock it out. Recover lap, ok take it slow save it for the next 2 laps to gun it. When it came to doing 3 laps at high-speed it definitely got harder to maintain but I reminded myself that this was the hardest part – not even a mile – I could totally take it on…and the I would get to recover.

A ladder workout is a total new concept to me – something for “real runners.” But for the first 3-4 laps I was telling myself this is awesome, omg I think I love speed work – is that possible? This why I’ve been pulling back on my other runs and it makes the 12+ mm ok.

{so judging by the difference of distance …I tend to weave a lot apparently}

 

I was the only woman without children there and I was the minority – but what does that matter? I’m very good at ignoring looks (running in crowded Florence taught me early) and got to watch a (skilled) soccer game the entire time.

I’ve been having major soccer withdrawal, so it made my night when I’d kick back a ball to a kid …don’t think they felt the same as they would still have to run after it.

 

Being surrounded by all these kids just added inspiration – as a reminder of who and what I’m training for.

Healthy can be fun.

 

 

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I’m fundraising for :     bringing  awareness to teaching kids how to build their healthiest lifestyle . 

You can help support, no amount is too little and any is greatly appreciated!! My personal page is: here

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