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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Color Me Fun

I love color.

Proof here, here and here .

Sparkles also make me happy.

I don’t like zombies or barbed wire & fire.

Wine & Krispey Kreme wouldn’t really work out for me and I’ll skip the hot dog… though I may take you up on the hot chocolate.

[21 themed races from Greatist.com]

But color!

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When I first learned of the Color Run it was advertising the Boston location, NYC was yet to be announced. I forwarded it on to the Boston crew trying to get the gang on board. They must have been sick of my talk about running (though still supportive!) because no response. guyssss. I can do a 1/2 marathon alone but this one I wanted friends. Still no response and the race sold out. F

. Then NYC was announced – score! Only I was scheduled to be out of town that weekend ….. major bummer. Then that plan started to fall through and the possibility of the color run became real. It was nearing sign up date and I would have to make a quick decision …. and once again gather a gang. This time I reached out to everyone: my friends that run, my friends that kind of run, my friends what would choose anything but a run, former co-workers who I’ve seen become more active …anyone and everyone. I stressed that it was a fun run (nothing to do with crazy marathon training). Quickest turn around ever. Is that what stock brokers feel like? I warned everyone that it would be sold out within 24 hours. We got a team – a mixtures of friends and friends of friends – the perfect kind. Even better, I learned some friends were signed up with other teams … I didn’t care who they were with I just wanted everyone to come!

I planned to run it. Not as a race but a run none the less. It was Sunday and would be a flex day of 5 miles anyways so I would knock out 3 recovery ones instead of with the usual UGS / Ahthleta group. And then that silly little potential stress fracture happened. Running was out. 100%. Since my shin doesn’t feel aggressive, it just wont go away, I decide that walking …and taking it very very easy would be fine. Some people might vote otherwise. I didn’t want to miss the party! I promised myself after the walk I would really lay off the leg to get healed so I could get back out there. Plus I didn’t officially have my diagnosis / MRI results back so that made it ok right?

Ok ok, I promised I paid attention to what my body said.

Luckily (or not) one of my friend is also coming off an injury and needed to take it super slow. We agreed the only way it was happening is if we walked – we used to walk all around Italy during our semester abroad together so we need we’d be good walking buddies! I ended up not falling asleep until after midnight Satuday (nothing to do with partying ….not liking this new trend…) and it was rough waking up. In fact I didn’t actually wake up until we hit the start line.

I had my iced coffee and toast with peanut butter as usual but didn’t cut back on insulin – I’d have my spibelt with gummies just in case but knew we’d be taking it easy. Some friends that leave a block down & I split a car service – best.idea.ever. since it was in who-knows-where Brooklyn and required buses and subway. We hung out for a bit at the tents checking out sponsors, catching up and waking up. We started to make our way to the start, loosing a few in the process but getting amped up. It worked. I really really wanted to run. Instead we danced. As we got closer to the start I knew we would be trampled in the take off and tried to stick to the right side. As we crossed over in a jog I was reminded that running was not a good idea and made it two feet before walking. And from there the people watching kicked it up. It was at an old airstrip (i think?) and was a spacious course. I can get super excited about these events when telling someone about it but when it comes to the actual event I’m not very outgoing – in fact straight up awkward. So no crazy color grabbing antics from me. Though I was kind of jealous of all the bright knee socks and tutus. Even saw a couple of wedding dresses. I left my compression socks at home to avoid them becoming tie -dyed and opted for KT Tape in neon pink instead.

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By this point my phone went in a baggie for protection and pictures got a little blurry. 

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There were people doing snow angles in the powder. I can get excited when talking up the event but when it comes to game time spirit I’m less than outgoing …. in fact often straight up awkward. I think running throw the color stations would have been a little bit more exciting but we still had fun and got plenty of color.

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You were suppose to save your packet of color (the stress fracture squad all had blue) for a group toss but we didn’t last much longer than the finish line.  We met up with the rest of the crew before splitting up to head home. UES’ers took a car back again ….. I may have left  some blue behind…..

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Your turn:

Have you ever done a themed run? 

Ever done the Color Run? 

Favorite race?

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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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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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{running distraction} : counting light posts

When I used to run along 1st avenue and the East River I filled it with markers. 20 blocks until a mile, 7 blocks until this cross over, this point along the river is this many blocks, this store means this much further.

Markers, countdowns, comparisons and judgements.

One major shift during training has been letting go of that. With my TFK runs I may pay attention to landmarks and recognize  where I am (at times no clue!)  but they don’t serve as markers. I’m on new routes and with new running buddies.

Switching to Central Park has made it easier to throw myself off. That said, most of my SloFasy runs have been
around the reservoir. ~1.5 miles. I don’t pay attention to where I am when I hit a mile…or a quarter of a mile…or 3/4. It’s easy to catch on but I distract myself.

While other runners are good entertainment, it loses it’s luster when they’re all going past you.

When I first got my Garmin I was nervous that I would get even more obsessed with numbers but surprisingly not the case. I realized its much like how I frequently check my phone for the weather or time but rarely can tell you what I just read. I check in which my pace and quickly focus on how I feel and effort level vs. the number – major step.

That said, in an effort to prevent from creating markers, checking my Garmin out of boredom or start a mind war with myself, I started the light post game.

 

{image via pin}

I count light posts. Not in the 1,2,3 kind of way…well sort of. I’ll pick a number, say 5, and after 5 light posts I can check my  Garmin. Now I know that sounds like marking, but here’s where the game comes in: only lit posts count, I change the number (5,15,10,5,20, ect though now I’m starting to just pick random numbers), and I can easily get thrown off count. This prevents it from being “5 light posts is at this point which is x of a mile.” I also will not look at my Garmin when it hits a mile but wait until I reach that light post.

So far it’s keeping me entertained though I think I’ll need to shake up the game soon.

 

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Do you play (fun) mind games when you workout?

 

Count anything? Aside from light posts I think other people are my only other option.

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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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It’s Happening {#ingnycm training}

It’s happening

I’m a part of this

And this

(you can help my efforts in promoting healthy lives for youth here)

This isn’t really old news, in fact I made the decision the day of the marathon last year …and my friends have heard plenty about it since. But now training season is in full effect. Weeks are being counted and days are being counted down. It’s no longer a wide planning stage – it’s a happening stage.

I’m a part of a training season.

As I take steps further and further into the running community it’s easy for me want to try to fit right in. I know what Gu/Chomps/shot blocks are. I know what tempo runs and farleks and strides mean (sort of). I know about the power of protein & carbs, the importance of refueling and what glucosamine is. All stuff I paid no attention to or had never heard of two years ago (well except carbs & proteins).

That’s the thing – this is all new. There’s hype and excitement, especially as everyone has started training for the #ingnycm … as there should be!!

Everyone is sharing their goals, reflections, plans, schedules and lesson <– all things I learned from many in the blogsphere as they tackled it last year.

But let’s take a step back from all that for a minute.

I’m going to run a marathon! 26.2 miles.

Forget the Diabetes for a second. It’s easy.

Let’s see this from the perspective of a girl who spent more time on the bench then in games.

Who would hop off the surfboard when waves threatened a thrashing.

Or who got self-defeated at the lack of coordination during a pick up game of tennis.

That thought the only people running off the field were born for the track. { if I remember correctly, we had a good track team but they definitely didn’t get a wide range of love. While other sports cross pollinated during off-season, most track kids were running all year-long, further supporting my theory that track kids were the one that were made for running – lived it, breathed it, dreamed it}

That girl will be running a marathon in just over 4 months. Her first marathon. My first marathon.

Ok now let’s bring the Diabetes back into the concept.

I never thought I could not do something – it just was an understanding that it might come with a little more restriction/challenge/planning.

Last year I had been deep in my addiction of blog reading. It got me to become a morning runner, it got me to push my mileage, it got me to push me, while also discovering self-appreciation and strength – and the room to grow.

So when marathon training hit NYC last summer I was pushing myself in the heat, I was getting out there early, I was running on a Saturday morning. Hitting 6 miles, PDR-ing at 12 miles {of shuffle}, knocking out 3 miles like I was used to them. I caught the excitement of running. It wasn’t a new activity but it was new levels & boundaries. I followed along with the highs & lows. Observing & taking notes, inspired by people who were also exploring this crazy but welcoming world of fitness, health & running…many for the first time.

The 26.2 miles part? That was just something I was going to read recaps about. I began to get it, the idea seemed a little less crazy and a lot more fun but it didn’t seem a world I would ever fully enter.

But let’s be real, my control over my blood sugars is nowhere near the target. I think people think I have awesome “control” because I “handle it well”.  I’ve been trying all my life to get it at that target number. The do-gooder in me strives for it. My every movement is a reflection to this giant “goal” in which I continuously miss the mark. It’s part gamble, part calculation and part science experiment.

So throw in some serious running into the mix?? Yeah didn’t seem likely. One of those “if I get my blood sugars under control” moments.  (which is what I said about drinking … I’m 26) 

Oh but it is likely!  Because it’s happening. This year. November 4th to be exact.

And while I’ve given a lot of attention to the fact that I’m ready to take on the challenge of figuring this out with Diabetes – that is 100% do-able and I have no hesitation.

In a way the confidence and determination I have with the Diabetes can overshadow the fact that I’m still on the lower levels of  running – far from a racer … so  this is me acknowledging the complete crazy/exciting/awesome/big fact: I’m a newbie to this whole marathon training process and I have so much to learn!

Now that I’ve shouted it from the my blogging mountain top, get ready as I share all the first time experiences, learning tidbits and the good, bad & awesomeness of it all, sprinkled with some Diabetic perspective.

While I’ve been recording all my run recaps here, I have so much to expand upon & recap as I enter the 8th week of training with Team for Kids!!

Ahhh, whose excited??