Friday, May 31, 2013

7 Years

I was in the shower worrying about life, wondering how things could be different... I felt a jaw-dropping wave of peace and warmth. I heard a voice telling me that everything would be alright, never give up, remember the sunshine.

A while after getting out of the shower the phone rang downstairs. I knew. I told my Grandma I didn't want to take the phone call. She told me I had to come to the phone.

I walked down the stairs and took the phone, the kitchen was dirty and the back door was open to the Missouri sunshine. The phone felt greasy, holding it was hard. It was Mom. "I am so sorry baby, I wish I didn't have to tell you this on the phone... Dad died."

The fridge door was suddenly holding me up. Grandma Momo reaches for me, her parents have been gone longer than I've been alive, she understood.

She bought me a plane ticket home as I packed. We sat in the backyard and talked, and didn't talk... Waiting for it to be time to go.

My Grandpa had died 6 months before, we had celebrated his life recently. Momo told me to be strong for Mom. Don't cry, don't make it any worse for your Mom.

It took 3 planes and all day to get in to Seattle. The airline was very sweet and gave me priority boarding so I could find a quiet place to sit. While boarding my first flight I stopped at the gap between the plane and the walk way.

It was raining. May 31st in Missouri. Rain has meant something more to me since. I got off the plane in Seattle and hugged my sister Becky until my arms were tired. Mom was next, then Nicole (foster sister), and then I noticed my Mom's best friend Rebecca. I remember being grateful she was there because it meant none of us had to drive.

We started the 3 hour drive home while they filled me in on what happened. It was sudden. Unexpected. When we got home I laid down on his side of my parents bed, face buried in his pillow and cried.

I broke my promise not to cry. Sometimes you just HAVE to cry.

It's hard to believe its been 7 years. Becky was days away from being 19, I was two weeks from 22. Nicole is in between the two of us. We were kids.

Becky is married and has 2 babies, and Nicole is married with 3. I am divorced with cats. ;)

My parents had a tendency to adopt our friends. I think it was something to do with Dad being a Pastor and Mom being a nurse. Their mission in life was to help people.

One of our friends posted on Facebook today about missing Papa Phil and the impact he had on her life. She is a strong, beautiful woman and the fact that my Dad had something to do with that means so much.

People try to tell you that grief gets easier with time... I'm not sure that its easier.... But rather that it becomes a part of who you are and you learn to accept it.

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Tuesday, May 28, 2013


A week ago today I was out of my mind. A week ago tomorrow morning I was sitting next to my Mom at the doctors office, being told I had 30 minutes to check myself in to the hospital, if I didn't show up they would call the police. Admitting that I was dangerous to myself was one of the hardest things I have ever done. It was one of the best things too.

I've taken my meds every day since I've been home. There are a few new ones and I'm struggling with the dizziness that comes with them, but hopefully those will go away with time.

I've spent some time in the garden. Tomorrow or the next day I should go out and weed. Housework is getting done. It's not perfect, and its definitely not company ready, but it's ok and not driving me nuts.

I was home in time to celebrate my 1 year anniversary with Olivia. Yeahp, call me the crazy cat lady! Oli came home on May 26th (her birthday is April 4th - same as Grumpy Cat) and I was happy to be home in time for that. She got some fresh catnip and tuna (which she completely ignored and let Cordi eat)...

Both girls have been very loving, which makes me feel like things are working. Before everything happened they weren't cuddly anymore, Cordi would hide from me, and I yelled at them all the time. We are back to 'normal' here. I get lots of love and kisses and no one runs away when I try to pick them up. Small victories.

My diet has been ok. Today is a cheat day, and it was worth every bite! I haven't run since Thursday, so I am going to go back out tomorrow and slay a couple of miles. On the treadmill at the hospital I really enjoyed pushing myself, I'm kind of dreading going back to being slow on the road.

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Monday, May 27, 2013

Resting in Christ

2 Corinthians 12:9 (NIV)
9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

The three days I spent in the hospital were a God send. The new anti-depressant I started several weeks ago threw me for a loop. The harder I tried to hold on the deeper I fell. As much as I pretended to have it all together, that I had hope, that things were getting better....

I wasn't safe to be alone. My parents were at their wits end trying to help, and when I went to the doctor on Wednesday I wasn't able to hide behind smiles...

So in to the hospital I went. You see all the commercials for anti-depressants and it talks about how it can increase certain feelings in children and teenagers.... Well, if you're bipolar it can do the same thing!

Yeah, so I am bipolar. Found that out while at the hospital. I spent a lot of time with doctors, nurses, and mental health professionals who all came to the same conclusion. Especially considering my diagnosis of ADHD as a child.

Turns out that a lot of people my age who were diagnosed with ADHD as kids were really early on-set bipolar. The periods of hyperactivity were maniac periods... And since I have struggled with depression for as long as I can remember.... The result was logical.

This makes sense since behavior therapy and sticking to a schedule was always more effective for me than the ADHD meds. I actually spent 12 days in the hospital when I was 11 for almost exactly the same reasons I did this past week.

An inventory of my adult years led to a stunning conclusion... Every time I hit a maniac period in the past I've moved, quit my job, started school, ended/started relationships, invested in a new hobby... Another words I always ran away and lost myself in something so I didn't have to address what was going on in my head.

This time I had no way to run. I can't quit my job, I'm not ready to go to school, and the idea of a new hobby when I have so many already was overwhelming. I was sleeping for days at a time. Or staying up for 48 hours straight. It took hours to fall asleep, and I'd spend hours cleaning and then the next week the dishes would sit in the sink until the house stunk.

It was everything or nothing. I'd find the middle of the road for a little bit and revel in it. This pattern has been going on for most of my life but the past 6 weeks or so have been hellacious.

The anti-depressant intensified everything and I finally crashed. At first I was strung out about inpatient treatment. The staff at the hospital was amazing! Every day I was reassured about my confidentiality, I was able to skip the typical admitting process and was actually hidden on the patient census. The people who took care of me are people I have worked with and at first that terrified me.

It shouldn't have. God went above and beyond. His timing is perfect. I was treated like a normal person who needed help. I didn't get special treatment (still had to hand over my phone and anything dangerous to myself or others) from the staff who knew me, but they did talk to me like a colleague when they could.

It was nice because they know what sort of stress I am under at work and we addressed some of the best ways to handle that stress. I learned lots of different coping strategies and ways to identify triggers and when I am starting to swerve out of the lines.

I'm off the anti-depressant and on mood stabilizers. I took some heavy duty sleep aides for a few days too, but am off the benzodiazepines now. Hopefully I will be able to go off 2 out of my 3 mood stabilizers in the future. One of the good things that came out of inpatient treatment was a being able to take a closer look at my other medications.

It looks like I might be able to go off my blood pressure medication and metformin soon, if the mood stabilizers don't cause anything to act up. Yay!

Back to resting in Christ... I am weak. Unbearably, hopelessly, desperately weak. There is a chance someone from work may find out about me being bipolar. That bothers me a little bit, but I am placing my trust in Him, because that is the only way I am strong.

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Sunday, May 26, 2013


I spent Wednesday through Saturday in the hospital. Today is my first full day out and I've been taking it slow, trying to catch up life and rest.

Hopefully I will be back to posting soon.

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Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Curtains Teach Me A Lesson

My stomach bug from Saturday was back full force today, I made it to the grocery store for fresh produce and haven't left the house since. Instead of working out I set out to remedy the curtain situation. There were simple short khaki curtains up when I moved in, but the cats tore them down in a matter of weeks.

(You can see this window -an the original curtains- in the top middle, and bottom left pictures. )

I planned to frost this window and leave it otherwise bare (it looks directly in to part of the garden, which is likely to have someone in it when I need privacy), but I found some great fabric at a local estate sale that screamed curtains to me.

Last night I stitched it up and hung it. BLAH.

Totally keeping it real with the cat and laundry.

It felt boring and sort of 're-purposed bedsheet' to me so I went digging in my box from the estate sale and pulled out some yellow fabric. Originally I bought this fabric to make scrub pants for Mom and myself, but it turned out to be subtly tied dyed. No go for scrubs. Mom suggested making curtains out of it, turns out she had a dang good idea.

I took down the curtains, re-stitched the top (to make the rod pocket wider) and then made two more panels from the yellow fabric.

Still on the fence about how it looks, but it is definitely better than last night. 100% of my furniture is 2nd hand, most of it was given to me by family or friends, is on loan from my landlord, or was purchased at the thrift store. Most of my decor is 2nd hand as well, a lot of it I inherited when my Dad died, and the rest is from garage sales or discount stores.

I'm slowly starting to piece together a decor all of my own. This is a MUCH better way to exert control over my life than through food. Which is why I am posting about it here.

It's important for me to learn what is an appropriate way to relieve stress and what is not. It's also a good lesson in instant gratification and patience. These curtains are ok for now. I may not be 100% in love with them, but it is a vast improvement over what it was before, and instead of obsessing over it, I am going to embrace the 'for now' and enjoy it until the cats shred to pieces. ; )

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Monday, May 20, 2013


So far the title aptly describes the beginning of my days off. Saturday I had to call in sick and ending up spending an entire 24 hours in bed, wracked with nightmares and stomach problems. An upside to this is that a good long rest left my legs feeling great! My ankle is definitely on the mend, and my pirformis hardly feels sore.

Sunday afternoon I was able to drag myself out of bed and had a rather tearful phone call with my Mom. I felt better mentally and had a restlessness that needed to be quenched without leaving the house (in case my stomach got angry again), so I decided to conquer a few projects I've been putting off.

I made some quick curtains and hung them. Which made me realize that I needed to rearrange the house. It took several hours of pushing, pulling, and growling with frustration... But I love the layout now. My house is minuscule, so I am on a never ending quest to make the most of it.

While rearranging I ended up with the contents of a bookcase and a closet all over the floor. Honestly I have yet to pick most of it up. I'm tired and want to go to bed, but I can't stand the idea of leaving the house such a mess. So I'm blogging instead of doing anything productive!

As soon as I get some sleep (and finish cleaning) I'm heading out for my 10k walk. Which means I better get moving.

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Saturday, May 18, 2013


I opened up to friends today about how bad things have been mentally in the past few months. While getting that off my chest was refreshing, it left me feeling a lot more vulnerable. It's hard to find balance on how much is too much when it comes to being completely honest. Thank God I have some amazing friends, and a wonderful family! Even though I felt bare afterwards, it was nice to clue these women who mean so much to me in to what is going on.

My life right now is different than I imagined. I drive a decent car, live in a pretty (albeit small) house, and manage to keep my bills paid and generally have a smidgen left over for a movie or a book every few paydays. I don't need much, and generally don't find myself lusting for material things. I have a support system that many people dream of, and I am on my way to a healthier me.

And I still find myself spiraling down deeper in to depression. Which makes me feel guilty. And then comes more depression. It's a vicious cycle. Occasionally I break free, but never for very long. Sometimes I spiral up, so far up that I lose control and find myself slamming back so hard that it undoes everything I've previously achieved.

How do you tell people that even though you're happy, you are depressed? I feel like such a whiner when I say that. When someone asks me how I am I smile and say it's OK. It reminds me of when my Dad died, and very few people really wanted to hear "it sucks, I cry all the time and when I do manage to smile, it hurts"... I know from experience that grief gets better. That gives me that depression will too.

Dad has been gone 7 years at the end of this month. How vastly I've changed in those 7 years. I'm a grown up now. I know he would be is proud of everything I've accomplished and the woman I am. I do not miss him less now, but I don't wallow in grief either. His absence has simply become a part of who I am. Some days I wonder if I'd be who I am now if he hadn't of died. Scratch that, I KNOW I would be different. Part of my success is fueled by a pledge to honor his memory and live a full life.

When I was little my Dad lost a lot of weight by running. He went on to join the Navy, and then left to become a pastor. The pounds came back and by the time I was a teenager he was morbidly obese. When he learned he was a Type 2 diabetic everything changed. He started eating right, walking, and doing his best to honor the body God gave him to take care of. (My Dad fought a lifelong battle with depression as well, he was someone I could always talk to because he got it.)

When I lace up my running shoes I am promising to do everything in my power to live long enough to meet my grandchildren. 4 years now a miniature version of my Dad has been roaming the earth, changing my families life forever. Sometimes I look at my nephew and stare, because it is like looking at my Dad. I dream about what it would be like to see them side by side, laughing and playing with each.

I want to be there when my (someday) kids have kids. So I am going to conquer the darkness and run in the light. It's funny how much peace training for this 10k has brought in to my life. Just 6 weeks of getting out and doing my best has given me a new reason to go on. The depression is still there. Some days it is still crippling. It won't always be.

Tonight I had a too few many cookies and treats at a potluck. At first I couldn't understand why I kept eating! Then I sat down and started to write and realized I was pushing food in to my mouth to give my brain something else to think about. Processing it and moving on is a much better solution.

So I am going to go home after work, sleep, and go out and get a few miles in before getting ready for another long night. And then it's the weekend! Hallefreakinglujah. My goal for this weekend is to go for a 6.2 mile walk. No running or jogging allowed, I just want to get out and walk a 10k. I will let you know how it goes.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Short and Sweet

I dithered about going for my run yesterday. For a while I sat on my bed, all dressed to go out... trying to talk myself out of going. Last weeks funk still has its claws in me. Eventually I stopped listing of excuses and just went.

I am so glad I did! I knocked 8 seconds off my mile and 32 seconds off my 5k. It seems like such a small number but it felt great!
Nike + Stats
The run itself was on the painful side, I actually walked a large part of it... But I did it! This only my second time doing a full 3.1 miles.
We switched glasses, what do you think?
Work last night was busy but I still found time to have a little bit of fun with a coworker. A. has been super supportive of my efforts to get healthy and I really appreciate her friendship.

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Thursday, May 16, 2013

Lazy Day

I had an odd day off this week, and in effort not to break my routine up too much I slept late and am trying to stay up until at least 2am. The downside to 12 hour night shifts is that I am a natural morning person.

This wasn't always the case, for most of my life I was a notorious night owl. About 4-5 years ago something shifted and now I love sleeping at night. What a novel idea. Trying to stay up late when I don't have anything to do (total lie , the cottage needs cleaning, lunches need packing, curtains need sewing... Now you know why I titled this post Lazy!) when it's dark out sucks.

I just made myself a cup of hot cocoa and plan to cuddle up under the electric blanket soon. It means I will be tired tomorrow might at work, but I'm used to that.

Since yesterday was a Bodyweight training day, today is a run day for me. I am going to ignore my apps halfway point and go out 1.5 miles. The app generally gets me 2.3 miles total and I want to hit 3.1 again.

I'm also going back up to 1 minute run intervals tomorrow. Last week I was at 1:15, but dropped back to 30 seconds (then 45) while I broke in new shoes and babied my leg.

My Brooks were a great investment. I don't feel as wobbly. I started running in Liv's by Sketchers, great for work but not meant for running! The Brooks are heavy though! After wearing them for a few days continuously I'm happy to retire them to pure running shoes. They were impossible to drive in, they always ended up kicked off to the passenger side.

Ugh, I am not going to make it to 2am. Goodnight! Can't wait to wake up and slay those 3 miles.

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Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Juice Recipe

I've mentioned before that I love to juice, but let me tell you again! My juicer never gets put away, despite my very limited amount of counter space.
After my run yesterday I put together this delicious juice. It's sweet, spicy, refreshing, and tangy.
  •  2 cucumbers (peeled if not organic)
  • 2 small green apples
  • 1 seeded jalapeño
  • 1 lime (peeled if not organic)
Run it through your juicer (make sure and do part of one the cucumbers last to get everything out), pour it in to a glass, and enjoy!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Piriformis Soreness

Welcome to my new readers, those of you who came over from Runs for Cookies and commented are much appreciated. This blog hasn't been active for very long, and I don't expect it to ever have a large readership, but I do enjoy getting comments. So thanks!

At my appointment on Monday I talked to my PA about the soreness in my right leg. This leg is my 'bad' leg and was a concern I had before I took up 10k training. In mid 2011 I fell with my entire weight on the outside of my lower leg. The bruise was awful, I wish I still had a picture. It extended from my knee all the way down to my ankle and was nearly black for months. The swelling was so bad I couldn't crouch, or get down on my hands and knees without my entire leg feeling like it was on fire and about to explode. When I first fell I couldn't even feel my foot.

At first they thought I might have had compression syndrome, and then they thought I had a clot, luckily neither of those turned out to be an issue. It did turn out that I had a rather large hematoma in the calf and it took weeks for it to actually stop bleeding. I took it as easy as possible, but was only able to get a week off work to keep it iced and elevated. Making the issue worse was the fact that my sister, her 2 year old, and 3 month old were living with me at the time. I tried to get back to normal life but my leg still bothered me, it didn't feel the same. I begged my NP at the time for physical therapy, but was given a prescription for pain medicine instead.

The pain medicine was awful, and after a few months I quit taking it all together and asked for therapy again, only to be told no. My NP actually dismissed me because I refused to take the medication she prescribed. Ugh! Luckily my next NP was amazing (and moved soon after I switched to her, grr), and quickly referred me to an orthopedic (almost a year after the injury). He took did a bunch on xrays and then spent an hour manipulating my leg. Turns out I had bursitis in the greater trochanter, a compressed sciatic nerve, and a cyst in my upper calf (which will never go away, it's left over from the hematoma). Luckily I didn't have to have surgery (anesthesia is a phobia of mine), but I did have fluid pulled out of the bursa, and received a cortisone shot. The worst part was he said most of the issues could have been avoided if I'd done physical therapy!

The shot was the worst thing I ever did. It took me almost 6 months to realize that although the pain was gone, my control that muscles on my right hip was decreased. The relief from the cortisone has worn off and now I am stuck with a leg that doesn't always do what I want. So it came as no surprise to me when the pain increased after a few weeks of training to run a 10k. My new PA is an amazing athlete, and in addition to her medical training, she is also a certified trainer and marathon runner. Lucky me : ) The moment I described the issue she was able to pinpoint the problem and showed me several stretches to do before and after running (or any activity) to help with the piriformis and other muscles in that region. I did them today and was able to go about 2/3rds of my run without any issues.

Once I got to work I printed off some more information and tons of stretches. Hopefully as I lose weight and gain strength the pain will decrease. Even if it doesn't I am not going to give up running. It's the first exercise other than Zumba that I have truly enjoyed.

Swimming, again! And more...

As soon as the sunshine hits I spend as much time as possible in the water. For Mother's Day I went to my parents house, we had a small lunch and were trying to decide what movie to watch when the sun broke through the clouds. The forecast had called for mid 60s and rain, but we ended up in the 70s with sunshine so we loaded my car with a picnic and blankets and headed off for the river.
I absconded with my Step-Dad's hat.
My Step-dad drove the motorcycle (which means I got to steal his hat) so it was just Mom and I on the 40 minute drive. We had lots of time to talk and spent a lot of it talking about my Dad, who has been gone for 7 years at the end of the month.
The motorcycle and my car hanging out.
Each time we go I get in a little faster. The water is still on the cool side right now (and honestly, it never gets truly warm in this part of Oregon) so it takes a few minutes to get numb. As soon as the water hit my waist I just sat down and soaked myself head to toe.
The River.
We swam, ate, relaxed on the blankets, read, collected rocks for my project, and enjoyed having the water to ourselves. After a few hours we headed home. I had to pull over about a third of the way and let Mom drive.

 The roads are incredibly windy and not in the best shape, and this was actually my first time driving them in the years we've been going. I was tired (had been up since 8pm the night before) and just couldn't focus on the road anymore. Luckily my Mom loves to drive my car.
Mom and me.
Once we got back to their house we stretched out to watch a movie and I slept through the whole thing. All in all I think I slept 5 hours on their couch. It's a good thing I spoiled Mom with flowers, a plant, cookies, an beautiful card. Hopefully that made up for my snoring.

Monday I had a doctors appointment and errands to run, so I headed in to town early. I found some great produce sales, so I will definitely be juicing this week! Seed wise I bought habanero, jalapeño, mixed hot peppers, mixed mesclun, Swiss chard, spinach, and collard greens.

My doctors appointment went well. We are going to give my new med 3 more months and reevaluate. So I don't have to go back for 3 months! Between my asthma and depression I have been at the doctors office nearly every 6 weeks this year.

My weight was down 3lbs from my last visit, but still up from my lowest weight this year. My doctor is actually a PA and she just happens to be a personal trainer and coach too... So she showed me a few stretches to do before and after running and provided lots of encouragement.

I came home and planted my seeds, then set to cleaning house and getting ready for the work week. For tomorrow I have scrambled Mexican eggs & potatoes, half a blueberry oatmeal smoothie, sliced veggies and fruit, and a salad.

I started using My Fitness Pal to track calories and activity this weekend and hope it helps keep me accountable!

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Monday, May 13, 2013

Blueberry Oatmeal Smoothie

Green smoothies, it's what's for dinner.

I am a smoothie and juice drinker. My Ninja blender and juicer have a place of honor on my only countertop because they get used almost every day.

Cooking dinner tonight sounded like torture, so I threw some yummy stuff in the Ninja and drank away. This smoothie is sweet, filling, and packed with greens!
'Green' Smoothie
1/2 cup old fashioned oatmeal
1/2 cup almond milk
1/2 cup frozen blueberries
1 frozen banana
2 cups spinach
1 tablespoon honey

I blended the oatmeal first, then added the spinach and milk, blended again, and lastly I blended in the frozen fruit and honey.

This made two large smoothies, perfect if you want to share with someone.

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Sunday, May 12, 2013

Depression Crash

I have slowly opened up to people around me about my ongoing struggle with depression. It seems like the more I acknowledge its existence, the less of a hold it has over me.

Friday morning I was at the peak of a huge high. It had been slowly intensifying over a week or so and I knew the upcoming crash was going to hurt. Luckily I was able to rearrange my schedule last minute so I had Friday night off.

Something I've learned recently is how to anticipate my crashes and do everything I can to avoid them interfering with my work. When I clocked out Friday morning I was feeling good. Even though I knew things weren't going to last I was determined to savor what was left.

After dropping flowers off at work for my Mom (happy nurses week by the way!) I headed to the bank to cash my check. Ever since injuring my ankle last week I knew I needed real running shoes. Since I'm prone to clumsiness anyway, it seemed like I was just setting myself up for a world of hurt if I didn't invest in the correct gear for my newfound passion.

So I had budgeted out money for some fancy new kicks. I ran to the store for new workout pants and socks, and then went to the only shoe shop in town that caters to people needing speciality shoes for work/hiking/ect.

I'd been to this place earlier in the week and had a great experience with a woman clerk. She fit me (just for size - not gait/running style) and set aside the shoes for me to pick up after I got paid. I spent all week fantasizing about these shoes.

The reviews I read online were great, and the online fit guides all pointed me to this shoe as well. They were expensive though. $110 is a ton of money to me. Money I could have used for a lot of other things.

Unfortunately the lady who had helped me earlier in the week was not at the store. I was helped by the store owner who told me I am too heavy to run, and while he knew it wasn't his place, he was sure I would injure myself.

CRASH. All the joy I had about this purchase gone in an instant. I paid for the shoes and left, already crying. It took me hours to actually put them on. I posted to Facebook about my experience and received an overwhelming amount of support.

I stumbled through the rest of the day, trying to do things that would postpone the low that always follows a high. I shopped. Walked. Talked. Went to the beach and the farmers market.
And went off the deep end as soon as I got home.

I binged like crazy. I'd sleep, eat, read, wake up and eat, then sleep again. After 24 hours of this behavior I was shaking. Everything looked hazy. I couldn't focus. I wanted to die. I felt so worthless.

I turned my phone back on and went back and read all the supportive things people had said on my post. I prayed for healing. Slowly I am cleaning up after the mess I made of my house. I showered and put on clean clothes. I'm making healthy cookies for Mothers Day.
Brooks Addiction 10
When the sun comes up I am going to put on my shoes and run. That man is wrong. With God (and the wonderful people He has put in my life) on my side I can do ANYTHING.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Sleep Cycle

I've been using Sleep Cycle to track my sleep for a few weeks now. For a while my results were awful and inconsistent. One night I'd get 45% sleep quality and the next I'd get 80%. At first it seemed like the best nights were ones when I took melatonin, but that ended up being a quirk.

The enlightening part of the app was the amount of time I spent in bed. Normally I don't even spend a full 8 hours in bed! No wonder I am always tired. Sometimes I go to bed when I get off work on Saturdays and stay in bed for 16 hours because I am so exhausted.

In an effort to change this habit I took a 3 hour nap on Saturday and got up to enjoy the rest of my first day off. I've also rearranged my small house to make a bedroom out of the sunroom.
Cats on the bed.
I made a sleep mask for the days I work, dug up some of the classical music I inherited when my Dad died, stopped taking Benadryl and melatonin, and despite their presence in the above picture, the cats are banned from the sunroom while I sleep.
Sleep Cycle App
Working out consistently, decreasing my caffeine/sugar intake, cutting out sleep meds, napping on Saturdays instead of sleeping all day, having a dedicated bedroom, the sleep mask, calming music, and focusing on being in bed for at least 8 hours has made such a difference.
If you have a smartphone I highly recommend getting an app that tracks your sleep!

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Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Lesson of the day: Don't give up!

I hit 3.1 miles today for the first time. It took 56:49 but I did it!

Today's run was a bit of a mishap. I set out to the river earlier in the day and spent two hours enjoying the cool water. A good part of that time I spent swimming/walking against the current in an effort to reach the shallows so I could collect rocks for a project. My legs were tired by the time we got back to the van!
Bill jumping off the diving board
Even though my ankle was still sore I decided to go for a run while my Mom cooked dinner. I got dressed and told her if I wasn't back in 45 minutes or so to call me. I've driven the area around my parents house countless times, but wasn't quite sure which way to go when running.

My initial plan was to do an out and back down the road I was most familiar with, but my Step-Dad suggested doing a loop around, promising it was just over 3 miles. Mom said it was probably longer, but I really liked the idea of not doing an out and back so I took off the direction Bill suggested.

Almost instantly I was ready to quit. My legs were heavy and tired from swimming, and my stomach hurt. Instead of turning around I kept going. The road was a nice change because it had some subtle hills and sharp curves, but there was barely any shoulder. I had to hold my breath while big trucks came barreling at me.

My parents live in an incredibly rural area (population 120 - and I think that includes domestic animals ;), and I'd say a vast majority of those people are farmers of some sort. Some keep organic dairy cows, others have horse ranches, a few pig farmers, a couple large scale gardeners, and chickens everywhere!
View while running.
These drivers aren't used to slowing down for runners on the road. I know how I drive these roads... I doubt I will run it again! The entire way I was beating myself up because I couldn't keep pace with my training app. The walk periods felt short, and almost every time I glanced at my phone it said I still had 15-40 seconds left to run. It was agonizing!
At one point I was pretty sure I was lost and tried to call my Mom but the phone was busy. Finally I just kept going, trying to run as much as I could, still really disappointed in what I thought was my inability to do a full minute.
View while running.
Once I hit 3.1 minutes I realized I still had a good mile to the house. Defeated and angry I tried to channel that negative energy in to something positive. Even though my training for the day was done I'd run as far as I could as fast as I could, walk, catch my breath, and go again.
When my Mom drove up next to me at 3.42 miles I was overjoyed! I turned off Nike + and climbed in the passenger seat. I'd been gone for an hour, so she'd come to make sure I was ok. I have the best parents! I'd been thinking about calling for a ride from the moment I hit 3.1, but didn't want to give up.
View while running.
I started fiddling with my phone to post my run to Facebook and realized I had set my training to the wrong day. Instead of running 1 minute, walking 4 minutes, running 1 minute... I was running 1.30, walking 3.30, and repeating. No wonder I could never make it as far as my phone said to go!
Between the new road, tired legs/sore ankle, and wrong training day I still feel like I did pretty well today. Once back at my parents I collapsed on to the floor and stretched. Then I enjoyed dinner. 1 rib, a serving of cottage cheese, and baked beans. Mom had cooked me two ribs, but I could barely finish the first.

The best thing about running so far has been its affect on my appetite. It's shrinking!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Gone Swimming

My whole post from yesterday seems to have disappeared. Now I get to tell my story all over again.

Yesterday morning I dropped by the store for shrimp, green onions, and Red Box movies on my way home from work. I walked out with those things and cereal. Why? I ate the whole box of Fruity Pebbles. Although I have several trigger foods, cereal is the easiest one to avoid since most are not gluten free. Seeing the big 'Gluten Free' sign on the box made it impossible to resist though.

Feeling like a loser, I got myself busy, as if doing chores could erase my failure. I cleaned the litter box, then washed the back/side of the house and my back porch. One of the windows the sunroom wasn't quite closed and my bed got a little wet.

So I pulled out the sleep sofa and crashed on it. After 3 hours sleep I woke up and headed to the river with my parents. At first I almost didn't go. My stomach hurt, I was tired, and I was still furious with myself. On the way there I confessed about the cereal to my Mom, who is basically my accountability partner about the early morning binge.
Little did I know that she'd picked out the swimming hole you have to hike to. I may not have burned off the entire box, but I certainly felt better after hiking down, swimming for a few hours, and hiking back up.
The hike down.
Me at 313lbs.
The swimming hole.
My Mom.
The swimming hole.
My step-dad, Bill.. and Buddy.
Another picture of the swimming hole.
By the time we got home I was pretty set on skipping my planned run for the day, but instead I threw on my clothes and headed back outside. I started out strong and was actually pushing my running interval to almost a minute when my phone rang. I slowed to a walk and talked to my Mom, who had left her glasses in my bag.
We arranged for her to pick them up tomorrow and I picked up the pace. The phone rang again. It was Mom letting my know that my step-dad was on his way to get the glasses. Since I was almost halfway I just kept going and figured he'd have to wait for me to get home.

Not 2 minutes later a motorcycle pulled up in front of me. It was my step-dad. I told him where the glasses were, gave him my key, and he sped off to go get them.

Finally halfway I turned around and tried to make up time. If you use the Nike + app you know you can use power songs, so I turned on of those on. Once it was over my music didn't come back on so I slowed to a walk and started playing on my phone trying to get the music going again.

My left foot hit and rock and down I went on to my right side. It scared me more then anything at the time, and honestly I was really embarrassed because I run on the highway and there were plenty of cats going by... Typical fat girl can't even walk. Beating myself up I sprung back up and considered calling Mom for a ride home.

That would mean waiting on the highway though, so I just kept going. My ankle hurt, but not enough to make me walk the rest of my runs. I made it home in great time. Actually had the best pace and distance yet.

Nike + stats.
Once home I forwent my plans of making fried rice and had eggs, potatoes, and fruit instead. Dinner tasted delicious! Sometimes simple is perfect. I got my ankle elevated and iced and quickly fell asleep.
I skipped church this morning since it was still sore, and have been hobbling around trying to get chores done so I can spend the day at the river again tomorrow.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, May 3, 2013

Training Partner & Races

Awesome sauce baby! My sister has agreed to train with me for the Prefontaine Memorial Run (10k). We live 4 hours apart but are using the same Run 10k app and keeping each other accountable. The 10k is in September, so hopefully I will be able to schedule a vacation around it, that way we can hang out a lot while she is in town.

This won't be our first race though. We are both signed up for the Fat to Finish Line Virtual 5k. I am over the moon about this 5k!
Fat to Finish Line
My original plan was to do a Couch to 5k program and then find one in my area. The app I was using though was just too tough, it moved so fast, I couldn't keep up. I found the Run 10k app and it progresses at a better pace, plus I've always wanted to participate in our local Pre.
Steve Prefontaine was from my area. The 10k is run every year here in honor of his memory. Our training program ends quite a while before that race, so the FtFL 5k is perfect timing.

Today has been great. I got off work early this morning, that never happens anymore, which means I got some extra time in bed. Then I got a text from my sister saying she had done her first training run! Just a few more hours at work and I'll be headed home. This weekend is supposed to be gorgeous, so you better bet I will be outside enjoying the sunshine.

Here are a few iPhone pictures from my drive home... The best part of my day, I love this area.
View from car.
View from car.
View from car.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, May 2, 2013


Am I a blogger? A runner?

Yes and yes.

I may not be good or consistent at the whole blogging thing, but I have one and occasionally it get used. Therefor I am a blogger.

My mile might be 20 minutes long, but I do it. I may walk part of it. Jog part of it. Run part of it. I do it though, and that's what counts. A lot of the running blogs I read focus on the importance of identifying yourself as a runner regardless of what others say.
Running Route
No one has commented negatively on this new habit of mine. In fact the support I am getting from friends (many of whom run marathons!) is amazing. It's part of the reason I run. Knowing these women are out there cheering me on my way to a healthier life means a lot.
I've worn a lot of labels in my life. Some came from others. Some from doctors. Some from a deep ugliness inside of me that God has been patiently streaming light on waiting for me to realize that darkness is beautiful. It is His. His to heal, His to claim, His to transform. All I have to do is give it to Him.

Another label I wear is beloved child of God. This, this is the label I wear most proudly, yet struggle against hardest.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone