Tuesday, October 22, 2013

A dose of Good News...

Have you enjoyed my journey so far? These past 10 months have been a time to rediscover my life as it could be and should be. I still see myself from time to time in a light that is not so much flattering but that’s okay. I still look in the mirror some days and point out what is wrong instead of realizing everything that is right. I am okay with this, don’t worry I’ll explain, we live in a world where the idea of perfection and beautiful are skewed and twisted out of whack entirely. The truth is that ~I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. ~ See I have always felt “okay with myself” running never came from disliking my appearance, it came from wanting to make a change, a change that would have a direct correlation with my family, my children and my health.

Yes, I will do a little dance when I drop in weight and when I fit in a smaller size, I am (after all) woman hear me ROAR, NAG, COMPLAIN, GRIPE, NAG, ECT.! Even more so I am HUMAN. I also have worked hard to get where I am and I will celebrate when I see all that hard work making a change in a tangible way.

At one point or another I have mentioned that I have health concerns with my weight, I’ve said I would elaborate and I never did. Truth is I am scared of an eight letter word that is closely associated with my family, more so my mother’s side of the family. Diabetes(Type 2). About 5 years ago I was diagnosed as being a pre-diabetic; I know that to many people it may not be a very scary word but to me it is. I know and have family and friends that have been majorly affected by this, and it blows my mind. My mother was diagnosed with diabetes about ten years ago, she vowed to beat it somehow, she went to classes and quickly understood that she could change her diet and life style and possibly one day no longer be a diabetic. Now I don’t know the ends and outs of diabetes BUT I will say that once you are a diabetic I don’t believe it’s easy to overcome it. I have seen my mother make changes, I have seen her take care of herself more than ever  by staying physically active and making better decisions when eating, she watches her weight and has brought her sugar level way down, so much so that her doctor has mentioned she maybe could be taken off her medication.

Family History. When my mother was diagnosed I quickly realized that not only was she a diabetic but so were almost all of her siblings! Some of them taking huge doses of medication and insulin shots...hum I'm not fond of shots. Many stories of people who have lost their sight or had issues with their feet, toes and legs. So about five years ago when I first thought to myself that I might be headed that way, all kinds of flashing lights and sirens went off! There I was 29 years old and there was a chance that maybe my own health was keeping me from getting pregnant… I remember that sinking feeling that I was headed the wrong way. There was no doctor at this point just me and my gut feeling, that moment a set of events took place that I will forever look back on as an affirmation that I have some control over this and what I do will have a direct effect on my health and my children. I started to exercise again without instruction from anyone but as a form of my own experiment! I ate better and worked out and lost some weight, about three months later I was pregnant.
PHEW!? No, not quite, at my checkup I spoke the words I was afraid to say, I told the doctor I thought my sugar might be high. At this time the results came back elevated but not so high that I would be have gestational diabetes, but oh boy did they watch my sugar like a hawk. AND I got to moving and eating better, throughout my 9 month pregnancy I lost weight, my little boo was healthy and so was I. I read books about pregnancy because I wanted a natural birth, and with many mid-wives (insurance) not willing to take on a patient with diabetes I realized there was a lot to be done on my part. I read once that preparing yourself for a natural birth is a lot like training to run a marathon, you don’t just get up one day and say you’re going to run a marathon, you train and prepare. Mega WOW, for me now as I prepare to run my first half marathon.  My pregnancy went great and my delivery was just as perfect as anything I could have asked for, I wish I could tell you that was the end of it… but it wasn't, by the time my next checkup came along I was diagnosed as a pre-diabetic. The past four years has been a constant up and down of weight and numbers. Two years ago I lost weight, I was in the 170’s and my “numbers” were still high, I must have been discouraged because slowly the weight came back on last year I went in and my cholesterol was high too at that time I weighed in the 180’s by January I was 196, I had a lot to lose and more to gain than ever – so I started to run- really I started to walk, slowly I started to run.
My checkup was about two weeks ago, I was nervous to say the least, then I had to wait for results to come in and last Friday I had a sit down talk with my doctor. My results? GREAT. All numbers are down, I am NO longer pre-diabetic {happy dance inserted here} I am off my medication and my cholesterol and my lipids are normal. Again I don't know everything there is to know about diabetes  I don't know that I've beat it forever but I know now that I've have delayed it - hopefully for many many years. How about that running... for me personally it means so much - but I will save that for another day ;)

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Monster Mash!

Oh my! I don’t know where to start on this race report! So much to tell you! Lots of pictures and lots of fun! Someone posted on FB – you girls have fun – my response – Have fun running 6 miles?? Heck yes!! It was awesome! And it was…
The night before was the celebration of my grandmothers 81st birthday, if you know my family then you know that when it comes to celebrating – we love to celebrate! We also love tequila ;) As luck would have it there was no tequila and no staying up till morning.  This momma had to go home and get to bed, get some rest and wake up at 5am (on a SUNDAY!!) So I said my goodbyes and my family wished me luck! I got home with my little Hailey Bear and I collected my things for the next day making sure I wouldn't wake to whole house getting ready. I got into bed and knew from the start that sleep was not coming easy, so I got out my handy dandy IPad and started reading Runners World Magazine (what else what I be reading the night before a run??) by this time it was 11:30pm and sleep seemed to be hours away. Then I came across a good bit of advice –
Don’t sweat a sleepless night.

Fretting over not catching enough Z’s is what hurts your confidence- and your race – not the lack of sleep itself.

Maybe it’s just what I needed to hear, maybe who should argue with the experts – who knows but just like that lights were off and so was I, not only did I fall asleep, I stayed asleep.

The next morning I got up at 5am, made my way to the kitchen and drank water (hydration, hydration), I went around in the dark and got ready and then I kissed my hubby good bye! He said “good luck & I’m nervous for you” LOL! Nerves what nerves?? Then I stepped outside and the greatest thing in the world had happen overnight… it got freaking cold! 

We met up inside a pavilion at the Sam Houston Race Track, thank goodness because it chilly outside! While we waited for things to get started we made sure we got a picture together all dolled up and with our costumes before we got all sweaty and our hair got all crazy! Cindy was cool, and got us masks to tie everything together! Don’t we look good ;) Also another friend of mine was there! I was excited to see her there –I had an idea that she had been running too and she always told me that she wanted to run 5K, turns out that she was there to run the 10K!  AWESOME!

All pretty and ready to go!!
Soon enough we got the “go ahead” to get to the start line, again Cindy made a bee line for the front! Crazy girl, anyway we stood there shivering cold, everyone around us was reassuring someone that it would feel better once we started running- of course it will! We could not hear what the announcer was saying very clearly so we never did hear them say GO! It was more like everyone started going and so we started running!  Right away people started to pass me up – every ounce in you wants to speed up and not get left behind – but you have to know better than that, last thing I wanted to do is to burn up all my energy. So I checked my watch and paced myself - MY RACE MY PACE! – is what I kept telling myself. We ran the track one full time and then about ¾ of the way the second time, the track was sand and I couldn't help wondering if this was what it would feel like if I run at the beach?? (I think I see a beach 5K in my future!!) After the second time around they lead us out to the main road that runs the outer perimeter to the Sam Houston Race Track.

Mostly the first three miles were nice and easy I kept slowing myself down over and over still afraid I’d burn myself out, oh! And be careful what you pray for! Most running days I am praying for three things – NO SUN, NO HEAT and when possible a little RAIN. Hummm.. it was nice and cold, no sun AND it started raining… HA! Take that you incredible woman! The whole time I am thinking – I got this, see all these people running with me! I got this – and then the 5K runners turned and left me.all.alone. I almost laughed out loud! I could see a few in front of me, so I just decided to catch up, after all I could see them before so if a catch up to them, then I could just pace myself with them and NOT BE ALONE! This plan worked for a little while because as runners do, once someone has “caught up” then some might simply run faster! Nice. Was I the last one? Either way I did not get too far behind them actually I checked my pace, evaluated how I felt and knew there was still energy there. I did not feel like I was dragging I felt really strong so I did keep my pace just a few feet behind them.
After mile 5 I really knew I had the energy I needed to make it to the end I picked up my pace (and so did the ones in front of me) by the time we were directed to head back into the Sam Houston Race Track parking lot I felt really good, I picked up pace some more. In the end it was my fastest mile I’ve ever run 11:08!! I picked it up in the last stretch and so did my fellow runners, I wish I could say I passed them all up leaving them to eat my dust!! HA! No that did not happen I did pass one runner and finished within just steps of the others – BUT I know one thing – I finished!  As I came across that finish line I saw two things – Cindy cheering me on! And the time clock as it rolled over from 1:13 to 1:14 giving me a clock time of 1:14:08 and a chip time of 1:13:57!! 

Quickly they starting to post results and we found out that Cindy and Alma were in the top 10 in their age brackets! AWESOME!! I could not be more proud of them; this journey would never be same without them. Most days I run alone in my neighborhood on my own time at my own pace, but I’m not really alone… Cindy and Alma are there running too somewhere working hard just like me. When we get together we get to encourage and inspire each other and that is an amazing feeling. I know that my courage to do this would not be as strong if I was flying solo, SO at the end of the race I’m glad I have them there to embrace :) Who could ask for anything more? Well other than a faster pace…LOL! Just kidding!
Here is a breakdown of my time in retro-spec I think I could have finished faster but I’ll take it. From feeling like I was going to dye waaaaaaay back in January when I was trying to run for two minutes straight to running my first 10K I gotta say I’m proud of myself!
     Lap 1 - 12:35
     Lap 2 - 12:41
     Lap 3 - 12:09
     Lap 4 - 12:00
     Lap 5 - 11:42
     Lap 6 - 11:08
     Lap 7 - 09:56