A blog about my journey of training to run a 1/2 marathon with Team In Training and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and beyond.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Operation Titty Holepunch

   The following information may be TMI for some but I feel like I need to share! (Don't worry. It's not about poop.) Enjoy! 
  I am young. I won't say how young, because a lady never tells her age and I pretend to be a lady. But I'm young enough that I had not thought about something happening to me. Suddenly I had some issues pop up in the breasticles area. I didn't want to play around with that given my extensive family history of the big C, including breast cancer. So I made an appointment with my doc who referred me for my very first mammogram. That was a lot of fun. My breasts squished between two giant plates one at a time. Though I will admit that it didn't hurt nearly as bad as I had feared and they let me wear a cape. (Ok, so it was more of a caplet, but when I walked it flared out behind my like a superhero cape. So I'm going with cape.) Three mammograms later they found something that they deemed disturbing, which disturbed me. Thus began Operation Titty Hole-punch (a name that my mom rolled her eyes at and my doc didn't even crack a smile at). Had I had the time I would have made T-shirts, but I was scheduled for a biopsy that following week. I am happy to report that I have the results and it was benign. 

My doc says that with my family history I should have started mammograms a couple of years ago. However, insurance probably wouldn't have paid for it unless I had the issues that I just had. And thank goodness for self exams. So ladies, please be vigilant, be aware, and don't be afraid to get tested or ask questions. 
Hopefully, we won't have to re-up Operation THP anytime soon. And I'm ecstatic that I have been released to exercise. Yay! Maybe I can shake some cobwebs off and get back on track. 

Until then... Peace, love, and self-breast exams. 

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Feeling So Guilty

I have heard over and over that you taking time for yourself can improve the quality of time that you spend with your family. That by making time for exercise is leading by example. But I'm here to tell you that THAT is easier said then done!

Hubs has been working out of town. Like WAY out of town, which makes me a suddenly single mom. I work a full-time job that requires me to be away from my children for 9 hours a day. Then we come home, do homework, cook, clean, play, visit, do sports (baseball, soccer, track, and now dance), and bathe and the envitable bed time story. At the end of the day, I'm exhausted. I could push through that if I needed to, but it's not like I can leave the kids at home by themselves while I go for a run.

Sure I have some options. I can check them out of one daycare and then check them into the daycare at the gym. I could ask my awesome running buddies to watch them for me. I could even drop them off at my mom's and go. That's when the guilt comes in. I am away from them so much and the rest of the time is spent working toward some goal (dinner, baths, homework, sports) that I don't feel like I have time to SPEND with them. So running has fallen to the wayside until I can figure out a good balance for me.

I know I have the weekends, but I miss my husband so much that I can hardly pull myself away when he is home.

I'll figure this out, I know. But until then my pace times are taking a beating.

Peace, Love, and Family.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

New Beginnings

Today is Independence Day, July 4th, the birthdate of my great country. So I find it only fitting to talk about starting over and new beginnings.

I haven't posted in quite some time. I always try to take some time off after a big race and focus on my family. So after the OKC Memorial, I took some time off from runHers and sort of running in general. I wanted to rededicate myself to my family. And then all hell broke loose. I have had some scary days in my life. The day my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. The day my daughter was born. The day the doctor said that my husband may have a brain tumor. But May 20th was the scariest day of my life to date.

I had went home early sick, but because of the weather went ahead and picked the kids up from school. We were at the house when the weatherman said to get the hell out of there. Grabbed the kids, the dogs, and the important papers and took off. I was on the highway headed north when it hit my neighborhood. By the time that I got to the shelter that we usually go to, they were showing my area on tv and I knew that my house was gone. My sister's first words to me where "Sissy, you don't have a house." Miraculously, I do have a house. Half a block more to the south and I would not. Half of my neighborhood is gone. Friends homes are gone. Our park is gone. But we have a house.

Entrance to our neighborhood
We had some structural damage and lost all of our fence and trees. But we were lucky. I know people are probably tired of hearing about this, but I need to say it. I haven't had a time to mourn. Mourn for my neighbors, my friends, my city, my state. My husband was sent out of town for work three days after the first storm. I had to handle everything on my own. Then the next storms hit, affecting a huge part of the state and hitting my house again, my city, my parent's house. And me. I was in my car with the kids and the hubs, who thank goodness was back for the weekend. And we were hit by a tornado in our car. It scooted us a little and the wind and flooding that followed ripped my wheelwells off of my Jeep. How we weren't washed away I have no idea.

Hubs is back out of town. We are fighting with insurance company and still doing repairs. Tball season has started and I am coaching this year. We are spending 4 nights a week at the ball field. I have 2 kids to take care of. I don't have time to think let alone mourn.

While repairs are being made, my bestest furbaby gets out and has been missing for over a week now. Every day I look for him and wait for that dreaded phone call, but nothing.

So today, my hubs (who's home for the holiday) suggested, nay, pushed me out the door to run. I haven't run in almost 2 months. It was a horrible run. Slow and sad. I hurt in places I forgot that I could hurt. But it felt like a new beginning. Like cleaning a slate. I got to mourn while I ran. But instead of cry, I sweat out my grief. I feel lighter. So here's to a Happy and Safe Holiday! I hope it is so for everyone. Much Love to you all!

Thank you to all the amazing volunteers that have helped get my city on the road to recovery.

Peace, Love, and New Beginnings. 

Monday, April 29, 2013

2013 Memorial Marathon

One of my favorite races is the OKC Memorial Marathon. Not just because it is my home. Not just because I know people whose lives were changed forever that day. Not just because the people are always so incredible. It's one if my favorites because the enduring message of hope that permeates from everyone and everything around you.

 If you've never ran the OKC race, we begin very near the memorial site. In the early morning dark, you can't help but notice the glow of the chairs sitting there to commemorate the 168 lives lost. There is a palpable energy that only intensifies as we observe 168 seconds of silence. This year 3 seconds were added to remember the 3 lost at Boston. Besides the Oklahoma wind, the only sounds are the whispered prayers and muffled tears of those around you. One might think that after a few years that this tradition would not be as poignant as the first time, but the opposite is true. Each year it affects my heart a little differently. This year was no exception. There was a cohesiveness, an inclusion this year among the runners that I had never felt before.

 Sure we are a running family. We encourage each other and cheer. But I have never felt such a strong connection among us all as I did on Sunday. I'll admit that the day of the Boston Marathon fear entered my heart . Lots of people said that OKC wasn't "high profile enough" to be a target. But we all felt that way before April 19, 1995, too. I knew that I would still run, but wasn't sure how many others felt that way. I didn't know if I was going to let my kids participate in the kids marathon. I didn't know how safe I was going to feel. But Sunday fear was nowhere to be found. I felt like the strangers surrounding me were my family and anyone of them would protect me and I, them. It was a beautiful amazing day.

I ran the fourth leg of a relay team. It was a first for me. We ran as team Tag It Forward. We ran to honor the memory of a young man who suffered from mental health issues and to bring awareness to the lack of mental health care in the United States. We ran for Boston. We ran for OKC and the 168. I ran for my friend who is battling leukemia. And I ran for the many dedications for my run3rd family. I ran for hope, happiness and peace.

 Now that I'm done sounding like an after school special, let me tell you how I did. I also want to tell you about some of the less poignant but just as awesome things that happened. Like I said, I ran the 4th leg of the relay.

It was a long 5k, which means it was over the standard 5k distance. The exchange was a little chaotic for my liking, with a mix of marathoners and relayers coming in at the same time. They would bellow out your bib number when your team mate was quarter mile out. However, there were so many marathoners coming through that we were cheering too loud to hear our bib numbers. So I didn't hear mine until my teammate started screaming my name as she came to the exchange point. My time was average for me. It could have been better and it could've been worse. I completed my section on 47 minutes. Not my best 5K time by far, but not bad with a still mending toe. Once I finished my leg, I hightailed it back to the finish line to meet up with my teammates. Your last leg was injured but soldiered on and we crossed the Finish together.

Two of my wonderful teammates and runhers ladies

Unbeknownst to me that while I'm racing my oldest child is being police escorted during his race. T (5 years old) got slightly overwhelmed by all the excitement and veered off his race course. A wonderful police officer scooped him up and pointed him in the right direction. Then a bike cop escorted him all the way to the finish. Only my kid! He was so excited to sit in the back of the cop car and that the other cop followed him on the bike. Thank you so much to the 2 OCPD officers who helped my son. You saved my husbands life. 😉 In all fairness to the hubs, he was expecting to get to run beside our kiddo, but was unable to. So our little boy ran his first 1.2 miles all by himself. They grow up so fast! And it better be his first AND last time in the back of a police cruiser.

I am so proud of my friends who participated in the races. I had several finish the 5K with new PRs.
All of my friends who did the half marathon PR'd. And my geek twin, Aubs, finished her very first full marathon. I was so proud and I love them all.

If you have never ran in OKC, you should. It's a beautiful race in a great city. And I don't just say that because I live here.

Peace, Love, and Unity.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

So Much Has Happened.....

So much has happened since I last wrote ...

There is so much that I want to say about recent events, in my personal life, in the running world, in the world. I just don't know that there is anything that I can say that hasn't already been said and far more eloquently than I could ever state. So I turned to the thing that I have always found comfort in (besides my family and running of course!), music. There's not a theme or a lesson to be learned from the following playlist. It's just a list of good music that I enjoy running to. It's just one of the simple things that makes life more enjoyable. We should never take the little things for granted.

  1. Just Keep Breathing  - We The Kings
  2. My Songs Know What You Did In the Dark (Light Em Up) -Fall Out Boy
  3. Champion - The Chevin
  4. Animal  - Conor Maynard
  5. Possum Kingdom - The Toadies
  6. I Will Wait -Mumford & Sons
  7. Home  - Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros
  8. Suzie  - Boy Kill Boy
  9. The Kids Aren't Alright  -The Offspring
  10. Grace for Saints and Ramblers  - Iron & Wine
  11. Insane In the Brain  - Cypress Hill
  12. Now  - Paramore
  13. Symptoms  - Atlas Genius
  14. Run Riot  -Def Leppard
  15. Love Bug - Baby Bee
  16. Jump Around - House Of Pain
  17. Girl On Fire  - Alicia Keys
  18. Down With the Sickness  - Disturbed
  19. Calabria 2008 (feat. MIMS & Natasja)  - Enur
  20. New Slang  -The Shins
  21. Rock and Roll - Led Zeppelin
  22. The Phoenix  -Fall Out Boy
  23. Little Talks  - Of Monsters and Men
  24. Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This) -Eurythmics
  25. Ho Hey  -The Lumineers
  26. Can't Hold Us (feat. Ray Dalton)  - Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
  27. Trains to Brazil - Guillemots  
  28. Longview  -Green Day
  29. Thinking 'Bout Somethin'  - Hanson
  30. Excuse Me Mr.  - No Doubt
  31. Low (feat. T-Pain) - Flo Rida
  32. Sabotage - Beastie Boys
  33. Home  - Phillip Phillips
  34. Just Got to Be  - The Black Keys

Peace, Love, and Savoring the Moments.

Friday, March 1, 2013

It's No Fun Having to Start Over, But...

There is a motivational picture/saying that I see often that says something like: If you don't want to start over, stop quitting. While that sounds logical and good in theory, it just isn't possible for some people. I am one of those people. I am chronically "starting over",  but not because I'm a quitter. It's quite the opposite actually. If I was a quitter, I wouldn't get up, dust myself off, and start all over every time that I get knocked down. I know that most of you know this already, but for any newbies out there, I have lupus. I have a rather mild case in that I have pain (most often tolerable without medication pain), joint and extremity inflammation, and discoloration (usually red, blotchy attractiveness). But I function normally, sometimes just a little more slowly. This, however, can cause a little bit of a problem for me when the cold weather hits. I hurt more, swell more, and have to decrease my exercise due to stiffness. So any advances that I make in the summer and fall disappear in the winter. Poof! Gone up in smoke like a new year's resolution. So every spring I start over.

This winter has been exceptionally hard for me. I had the flu for almost two weeks (thank you, weakened immune system) and have had dental surgery with complications. That's on top of all my lupusy goodness. I have been a barrel of fun and laughs for the past couple of months. But my family and friends have toughed it out and been uber supportive and loving. They are just as ready for me to get back to running as I am, though.

So here I am, on the edge of a precibus, with the decision to start all over or give up. If I start over, I will have to do the same things that I have done before. I will have the same struggles that I have had before and possibly some new ones. I will have to start all freaking over again! And it's never an easy road for me.
I have a such multitude of reasons why I do it that it would be impossible to list them all, but...
I do it because I still can.
I do it for my family.
I do it for my sanity.
I do it because this disease does not define who I am.
I do it because this disease will not limit me.
I do it to feel better about myself.
I do it to feel better.
I do it to prove to myself that I can.
I do it to inspire others.
I do it because I love it.
I do it because I'm NOT a quitter.
The flu, a torn muscle, a cold, surgery, life. All of these things can get in your way. All of these things can cause you to have to start over. It happens! So will you start over or will you give up?
Peace, Love, and New Beginnings!

I'm still here!

I have had to worst running luck ever since the holidays, but hopefully, I am making my way back now. I had the flu over the holidays, like so many people. The worst part of the flu for me has been the relentless cough. It took forever to shake it, and made my return to running very difficult. T. hen of course, my entire family got it. I spent two weeks taking care of all of them. They are all healthy and back to their normal onry selves. Thank Goodness! Just when I started to feel like I could get back to running (with my doctor's permission, of course), my wisdom tooth starting moving and pushed my jaw out of alignment. Long story short, I had to have serious dental surgery where they removed part of my jaw bone and five teeth. And I looked like this.

 I was not a happy camper! And since it can never be simple of me, I have had some not so cool aftereffects.  One of my teeth was chipped during surgery and I have bone sticking out of my gums where they took part of my jawbone. They say that they are probably bone fragments that will work their way out on their own. However, there is a chance that they may have to go in after them. : (
Good news is that I have been cleared to start running (to my discretion, but not too much). So am not going to be able to do the half marathon that I wanted in April. Instead I will be a part of my very first relay team. That helps take a little of the sting out of not being able to run the half.  Hopefully, by late spring this will all be sorted out and I will be back to running full-time. I want to start training early to set a new PR at Route 66 in November. I want to break the 3 hour mark. It shall be done!

Until next time,

Peace, Love, and Chipmunk cheeks.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Holiday MIA

I have been missing in action, I know. But you know that the holidays are never my best time for blogging. I'm always a little busy, visiting family, baking, wrapping presents, etc., etc. I did do a few things differently this year.

Usually once the weather turns chilly, I hang up my running shoes for the season. This year I bought some cold weather gear and I have done a few cold, winter runs. They are still not my favorite thing, but I will admit that they aren't AS horrible as I always thought. With my lupus the cold weather is not my friend and often times causes me to have some really bad, painful days filled with swelling and stiffness. I had a few of those but they seemed to be more easily managed. Oh, and a few 70 degree days in December didn't hurt. Gotta love that Oklahoma weather. I had every intention of getting a few more winter runs in while Christmas vacation, but two things happened that wrecked that plan. The first is the amazing present that I received on the day after Christmas. My favorite Aussie arrived. I just wanted to spend as many minutes with her as I could. After spending over a day traveling to get here, she was completely exhausted and we still stayed up late talking until we almost fell asleep in the floor.
We did some shopping, some more shopping, lots of talking, and a little bit of eating Mexican food. We had even intended to do a little running. However, the second thing disrupted all the plans that I had. I got the flu. : ( And it sucked!  We had a whole weekend of shopping and talking and running and shopping all planned out. Instead I spend it and most the next week lying on the couch in a cough syrup coma. I even had to spend New Year's Eve all by myself. The hubs and kids were sent away si that they wouldn't get it.Two of the three ended up getting it anyway. We are all starting to get better, thank goodness. It's gonna take more than a few days to get my house back in order, take down the Christmas stuff, and kick this nasty cough that the flu left me as a parting gift. I also have to try to spend as much time with Aussie as possible before she leaves again. I am just adding it all to the long list of things that I have planned for 2013. And I do mean, LONG list. 2013 should be a spectacular year and I can't wait to share it with you all.
Peace, Love, and Winter Runs (post-flu)!