Sunday, November 13, 2011
The day was starting out craptastic. I set my alarm for 5am, so I could be up and completely ready to go by 6am. I did everything right the previous night. I ate a healthy dinner, full of protein, carbs, and lot of veggies, but wasn’t too filling or would disrupt my sleep. I assembled my outfit and laid it out so all I had to do was dress. I planned my morning routine: take my morning meds with 16oz of water. Chew down vitamin C gummies (to help with exercise induced asthma). Get dressed/ready. One cup of coffee, with fat free milk and minimal sugar (to also help with exercise induced asthma). Chocolate cream of wheat with tart dried cherries and almonds (for energy and muscle recovery) packed in a thermal container for later in the morning. One bottle of water. Backpack with inhalers already inside. Then, I went to bed early, at about 10:30pm and was asleep by 11. Yeah, I know, but that’s really early for me! And would have been adequate for my needs.
At 2:00am, I woke up. And I was wide awake. I seriously didn’t feel nervous or anxious or restless. I have no idea why I woke up. Maybe I was experiencing some anxiety and I just didn’t know it. My mind wasn’t really thinking about the race. I wasn’t panicked that I’d sleep through my alarm. I wasn’t panicked that I’d be thrown off due to the time change, which would be odd ‘cuz I always feel thrown off by the time change. I don’t know what happened… all I can say is, when 5am rolled around, I was pretty pissed off that I had only slept 3 hours.
Oddly, I was still wide awake. I didn’t feel drowsy or fatigued at all. Got ready to go, and with supplies in hand, walked out the door to wait for Leah (SPRING4FAL) to pick me up. It had been quite some time since I’d seen her and the minute she drove up, I realized how much I’d missed her! We drove on, catching up on as much as we could on the short drive to Del Mar. The next step of the process was so smooth and quick, I was stunned. I expected to stand in a long line to get into the fairgrounds, stand in another line to get my bib, another one for my swag… You know, like at ComiCon. I was expecting hours of “Lineception”. Instead, we found parking right away, walked right to where we needed to go (although it was some distance away), got our bibs and bags waiting in a line 2 people deep, and BOOM. That was pretty much it. We began the task of tracking down San Diego Sparks who were arriving or had arrived. We found Jocelyn (WOLFKITTY), who I also missed very much and hadn’t seen in WAY too long, and Heather (NEWSGIRL2177), and then more Sparks trickled in… Linda (SMILEY1LK), Bonnie (ADVENTURE-GIRL), Lesa (ABB698), and a few other lovely ladies whose names I didn’t catch, sadly. One of them had a 13-year-old daughter who was beyond adorable! She was so friendly and sweet.
As I ate my breakfast, Leah and I decided to head back to the car to ditch the “excess baggage” before the beginning of the fun. I puffed my inhalers, licked my spoon clean, and jammed my chapstick and my phone in my bra. We met back up with the rest of our folks, and before long, we were being herded to the race track area. I snagged a plastic bag from a vendor to jam my phone in (didn’t want any sweat ruining it) and stuffed it safely in my bra again. Ingenuity at its finest, folks. You heard it here first. At 7:30am, the 10k began. The racers were off and the 5k crowd surged forward. I was definitely anxious to get moving. I couldn’t stop moving, in fact! I kept marching in place to keep warm and warmed up. It was somewhere in the 50 degree zone at that time… for a Southern Californian, definitely a cold temp! The music was playing and I kept dancing in place to it. Those of us who were running the 5k took off for the front of the crowd, and the rest of us who were walking stayed back.
At 7:50am, our race began! It took 1:10 mins to cross the timing mat. I had the pleasure (and I mean that 110%!!!) to walk the race with Bonnie and Linda! Talk about great company!!! These ladies were so amazing and friendly. Conversation with them was so natural. I enjoyed every single second I spent in their company. No joke. It made the time pass quickly. We were probably 5 or so minutes out of the gate when we had an “Uh… what?” moment. There was a traffic jam, so to speak, of racers. I cannot even imagine how this happened, but we had an “out and back” (assuming that’s what they’re called) at that point… but, while we were heading out, those ahead of us were already coming back. So, we had to dodge and weave through each other to continue moving forward! It was like a 4-way stop where they took out all the stop signs and let everyone just have at it. Once we passed that craziness, we were good to go. We kept at an 18 minute mile pace. There was a water station along the way that was needed by me for sure. I held my cup, not comfortable with throwing it on the ground, and walked up to the trash can that was set up for us, and despite walking right up to it, totally missed the trash can. FAIL! I can only hang my head in shame. We cheered at the mile marker! WOO!
As we started well into the second mile, we discovered a nice hill we were going to have to ascend. Super. Luckily, we were warmed up and good to tackle it! My lungs felt normal. I was sweating appropriately, but not fatiguing. I wasn’t out of breath. By the end of that it was Hill- 0, Me- 1. In that hill’s face! The mile 2 marker was almost at the top of the hill and at that point, Linda decided to run the rest of the race. Bonnie and I continued on at our walking pace. We reached the top of the hill and turned around for the ascent back down. We watched some cheaters cut through the orange cones. (In their defense, some of them had young ones who were probably tired out by that time and just needed to get back to the finish to relax.) Still, you’re only cheating yourself… But, easy for me to say. I don’t have kids. Or pets. Just houseplants. Anywho, we approached the winding road leading back into the fairgrounds and before we knew it, the 3 mile marker was upon us! Only .2 more miles to go!!! Bonnie and I pretty much had one goal: don’t be last. We may/may not have kicked it up a little bit as we made our way down the final stretch of path to the finish. There were a few cheerleaders there. Up to that point, the cheerleaders were the people volunteering at the water stations and keeping track of the racers on the route. And they did a great job at that!
With the end near, we crossed the timing mat and ended our race! What an amazing feeling! I had just finished my first 5k ever! ME! An overweight asthmatic who had only been over an awful head cold for one week and who debated up until the very last minute to do the race. I finished. In under 70 minutes, which was the time limit on the race. My finishing time was 55:10 (gun time was 56:20). Once we were through, Bonnie and I looked at each other… “Now what?” We got our Finisher’s medals and scored some water and a sports drink. Gotta say… the IronMan Perform Orange Mango… not delicious. Glad I grabbed that water. I also grabbed a Muscle Milk, which I have not even cracked open. And probably won’t. I might give that to a friend.
Says: overall place 870 out of 936; division place 96 out of 102; time 55:10; pace 17:48; guntime 56:20
Bonnie and I tried to figure out where everyone was, and in that process we decided to grab our free breakfast. We got a bag with yogurt, a banana, a 400+ calorie muffin, orange juice… maybe something else, but not likely… and met up with some of the San Diego Sparks. We did some stretching and figured out where everyone else was… which was at a table to watch the awards being presented. On the table they had a bowl of fruit. I snagged a Granny Smith from another table and ate everything except my calorie bomb muffin. We took some pictures with us ladies. The weather started to get ominous about then, so most of us decided it was time to skedaddle. A few more pics later (maybe that was stalling since we didn’t really want to go?) and we hit the road.
I have to say, this whole experience was amazing. I had such a wonderful time! I exceeded expectations for myself and the event exceeded my expectations. It was wonderful to spend time with old friends and make some new ones. I am definitely going to do this again next year! (And maybe a few 5k’s in between! ;-) …)
Friday, November 11, 2011
Well, this week was a toughy. The reason I was derailed in my fitness progress was because I contracted a rather painful, and definitely annoying as all hell, UTI. Gotta say, didn't see it coming. I woke up at 2am Monday and had to pee (not an unusual occurrence). Only it hurt and felt like I still had to go. That was basically the end of my sleep that night. Another night of less than 3 hours sleep. AWESOME. Anyway, I've these before (I'm fairly prone to them for some reason) and started my usual self-treatment: alternating water and cranberry juice at a near constant rate to flush out the system. Didn't seem to work out that well after all. I'm feeling better now that I am on antibiotics. Unfortunately, in order to take these anti-b's, I have had to stop taking everything else. I'm not on my asthma meds, allergy meds, or stomach meds. Its only for three days, so its not like its life or death if I'm not taking these. But, it has made some things difficult this week. No exercise cuz I don't want to have any asthma issues in the middle of a workout, especially if I can't take my rescue inhaler to help me. And my stomach meds help with the acid reflux caused by my malfunctioning gallbladder. Also, for stomach and UTI reasons, I've had to eat some pretty bland food over the last few days. But, starting tomorrow, I can begin taking all my usual meds again and get back to a routine. I've decided to start over with the 28 Day Bootcamp from the beginning.
Anyway, the real reason for this blog is that for my nutrition class, we took a field trip to the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista! We got to speak to the dietitian there, saw some althletes roaming around, and took a walking tour of the grounds. The facility itself is meant for warm weather sports- archery, field hockey, track and field, softball, BMX bikes, soccer, and rowing. They have a fitness facility, dining hall, and dorms, as there are some resident athletes that stay on site. Most of these athletes start their day at 9am and workout until noon. They go to lunch, relax a bit, and then workout some more from 1:30 or so to 5 or 8pm. Can you imagine?!?! Here are some photos:
The Olympic Flame
The resident dietitian, Andrea. She was from Australia/New Zealand.
The wall of olympians
The start of the mile-long Olympic Path
Field hockey area in the foreground. Right next to it (the lumpy ground) is the BMX track for time trials- they ride off that big ramp there.
The track and field zone
Ya know... I don't know what this is. Some kind of crazy... something...
That's the dining hall. The biggest bummer of the tour is that we didn't get to go inside it and see how it was set up.
I took many more pictures, but I don't want to overwhelm this blog. It was a fun tour and it was neat seeing the facilities. Most of the qualifying trials and such that are held at the facility are free to the public to watch, too.
Saturday, November 05, 2011
Well... my news, anyway.
Tuesday was the first day I have ever given blood before. I've always been on a medication that's prevented me from donating, or had a new piercing or tattoo, or been under the weather. Tuesday I felt great and everything pointed to DONATE! I'm in the Honor's Program at the community college, and they were the ones holding the blood drive. It was pretty awesome. I hope to be able to donate more often.
However, the finger poke they do to test your iron levels HURT!!! It bruised my finger and I ended up wearing a splint on it just to protect it. Every time I brushed my other fingers against it or hit it on something accidentally, this shooting pain would permeate my entire left hand. It hurt like this for 4 days. Today is the first day I don't have pain from that poke site. LAME!
Sparkin' with my splint on. Not easy to type that way, FYI.
Consequently, I was not able to do much (read: any) exercise that day since I was to take it easy. I technically got my cardio in because its quite a workout walking from my apartment to the bus, from the bus to school, from school back to the bus, and the bus back home. Lots of hills are involved. But, I was supposed to do an upper body workout for the 28 Day Bootcamp... that I didn't do. I was scolded at the blood donation place for helping put away chairs (I was volunteering at the drive as well) when it was time to clean up.
So, I doubled up the videos the next day. Got my cardio in, already saw an increase in stamina, and did my upper body and core videos. Got my cardio in on Thursday thanks to school and a ton of errands I did after. I did so much non-traditional exercise, I don't even know how to track it! I walked to the bus, to school, back to the bus as usual. Instead of going home, I took another bus to the bank for my first errand. Walked across the street to the grocery store for the rest of my errands. I bought milk, a sugar pumpkin, more milk products, and a few other heavy items. Stuffed some in my backpack and the rest into one bag so I could carry it one handed (stupid finger!) By the time I got home, I was so hot and sweaty and out of breathe from walking with all that weight. Then I had to toss the pumpkins. I took all three out at once. I had to clean up the stand I had rigged for them so they could be seen from the street, take down my skeleton lights, take out the trash, do some dishes, put some things away in the storage closet. I worked up into a hot sweaty mess all over again. And I still did my bootcamp video when I was all done with off that.
Needless to say, I woke up Friday to a gloriously rainy day, but I was pretty tired and sore. So, I took the day off from cardio and unintentionally from my bootcamp video. So, I'll be doubling up on the videos today, and getting in my last bit of cardio before tomorrow's big 5k!
Of course the 5k would come at a time when we change the clocks. I would really like to follow Hawaii and Arizona's example and NOT do that anymore. It always screws me up so much and I gotta be up at 5am as it is! I'm pretty excited, though. I mean, I'm not sure I'm up to par on the stamina thing since I've been outta the workout game for a while and only this week have been able to get back into the swing of things... and there's only a 70 minute time limit (that's about a 22:30-ish mile walking) and I've been walking about a 20 minute mile. Back when I was going at this exercise thing consistently in May, I was at about a 17-18 minute mile. I wish I had been able to get back up close to that before this 5k. I just hope at this point that I can finish the race on time.
I've been getting my lungs back to normal taking my asthma meds consistently day and night since Tuesday night. I've been taking allergy meds, too. I'm prepared to take some Vitamin C chewies and a cup of coffee before the race (vitamin C and caffeine help with exercise-induced asthma). I already know what outfit I'm going to wear. Its going to be a chilly 47 degrees when I wake up, and a chilly 54 degrees when the race gets started. And it'll be raining again by the afternoon. Then, we'll get to celebrate the completion of the race and SANDIEGOJOHN's completion of the marathon he ran in DC. I'm looking forward to tomorrow!
Monday, October 31, 2011
Well, now that I'm more or less able to breathe and sleep more or less normally, I'm getting back into a routine. Its way too late to train for Iron Girl (its this Sunday), so I'm just going to kick it up for the holidays. I'm not usually one to gain weight around the holidays, I only ever seem to over eat on Thanksgiving Day or Christmas Day. I eat leftovers in moderation. So, I'm not terribly worried. It would just be nice to look a bit slimmer than last year in the family portraits. Assuming I actually have a normal holiday this year... so much has gone on with my family, I'm not sure what my holidays are going to hold.
Saturday, the first day that I forgot I had ever been sick, was so fun. I spent the day with two friends. We carved pumpkins, baked cupcakes, I made dinner, and got my haircut... even shorter than last time. And I took photos of all the fun!
At the pumpkin patch! Oooh, I'm so scary.
Gutting out the gourds...
Finishing up my Jack O' Lantern!
Metric Ton of cupcakes- Devil's Food & Strawberry. I made homemade frostings- cream cheese and buttercream.
Finished pumpkin masterpieces! (Mine's on the far right)
My Bender pumpkin (although I know his teeth are wrong.)
This was dinner leftovers- turkey meatloaf with cheese in it, and homemade ketchup, red potatoes tossed with garlic, butter, and parsley, and a butterflake roll.
EDIT: Forgot to show off the new haircut. You can sorta see it "before" in the pics above. Now:
Today I did my Day 2 of 28 Day Bootcamp. As part of this challenge, I need to write down my goals for this program:
My goals for this challenge are (in order of importance to me:)
1. Complete the 28 Day Bootcamp Challenge
2. Lose some weight/inches
3. Gain some physical endurance/stamina
4. Gain some physical strength
5. Transform my body in any way this challenge will allow
I decided to keep my goals the same from the first time I did the bootcamp, so that I don't have any pressure. I just want to do what I can, ya know?
Today I did a full 30 minutes of cardio, but I kept it super low intensity. I am having trouble breathing a bit still, so I set my treadmill at 2.5% incline, speed at 2.5, which is probably the weakest I've ever done a treadmill workout. Normally I set it on interval, which increases and decreases both speed and incline at "random" intervals. That usually gives me a crazy workout which I love. But, since I've been outta the game for so long, I thought it best to build up my stamina first. After that I came home and did my toning video for the day and ate some lunch:
Tuna salad made with mustard (and only 1 tbsp mayo), lettuce, tomato, pickles, and pepperoncini rings, on rye bread. Flamin' hot Cheetos with lemon juice. Very salty, so I'm drinking lots of water.
I'll add a pic of my Halloween costume tonight: Jilted bride. Gotta get some use outta that free wedding dress (since I won't use it for an actual wedding myself.)
EDIT #2: I added some here, too...
Friday, October 21, 2011
I can't believe I'm sick again... or I'm still sick from last week. I dunno! All I know is, I can't breathe outta my nose AT ALL and it's really p***ing me off! No amount of NyQuil or DayQuil or saline nasal spray or albuterol seems to be helping. I feel betrayed. Betrayed by my own immune system. Tsk tsk tsk...
Well, since all that's happening I can't sleep (even after taking NyQuil more than an hour ago). I might as well get a blog in. First of all, I didn't mean to post such a cryptic status update the other day. I said something about life changing decisions, I think. I should explain that for those on the edge of your seats. I've been studying nutrition and my plan with that is to go into a CADE certified Master's Degree program to become a Registered Dietitian (which is only done through the ADA- American Dietetics Association). In the meantime, I'm in the A.S. program at Mesa college, taking the basic nutrition classes for a foundation. There is a program at Mesa (the only one in San Diego and Imperial Counties) that is for a DSS (Dietary Services Supervisor) certificate which would allow me to work in hospitals, nursing homes, and schools. The state of California has a law (might be a new one, actually) that is going to require these types of facilities (with special needs diets) to have a certified DSS on staff 24/7. My "life changing decision" is to join this program. As it turns out, I've already taken 2 of the 6 required classes. I can take 4 more next semester, then take my practicum over summer (or in fall if I'm lazy). Then I'll be a certified DSS. Its a growing need for these DSS folks and even this semester the program coordinator knew off the top of her head 6 positions that were open immediately in various facilities. I'm also already ahead of the game (thanks to the classes I've already taken) than more than half the people that attended the DSS program orientation. They won't be getting theirs done until 2013 thanks to prerequisites. So, I'm excited. This could lead to a good job, a good paying job, and is just another stepping stone on my path to Registered Dietitian-hood.
As for my journey here and my plan: I wanted to do 28 Day Bootcamp and Couch to 5k. Well, thanks to this lame cold, I haven't done much of anything. I've worked out at a low intensity while sick before (its actually good for you to because it raises your body's temperature and cold/flu bugs need a certain temp to thrive, so by raising it, they can't do their evil thing! FUN. FACT.) Unfortunately, I can't breathe out of my nose and my asthma is all aggravated, so I'm coughing as well. Not exactly easy to walk on a treadmill, or in general for that matter, when you aren't able to take in enough oxygen, ya know? So, the chances of me getting to the Iron Girl 5k are looking less and less. Stupid body! Also a consequence is that I've had such a small appetite. I have to remind myself to eat. I can't taste anything, so I'm not really wanting to eat. My tummy is slightly queasy, which may/may not be related to gallbladder (see two paragraphs down). The lower half of my guts can't decide what they want to do- be upset or be normal. Ugh! Anyway, I went to school today and then my last day of work (more on that next paragraph), for a straight 8 hours of not healing or resting, and boy do I feel wiped out. Luckily, I have absolutely NOTHING to do tomorrow, so I will happily do that nothing in bed getting better.
So, today was my last day at work. I would like to say, yes, I know I voluntarily quit without having another job lined up. But, it was for my own mental health that I move on. That's not to say I didn't love the people there. My boss was wonderful in every way. One of the best ones I've had the pleasure to work for. She was kind, smart, understanding, and a good friend (but, a boss first and foremost). The package delivery drivers, Michelle for express and Ryan for ground, were so great, they really highlighted my day when they'd come get the packages for the day. I cried and hugged them tightly when I said bye to them today. They were truly wonderful people. I didn't cry when my boss left because I was still trying really hard to keep it together. But, I cried when I locked up the shop for the last time and carried out my notary supplies and coffee mug. I'll miss my favorite customers- Candy Banditt that would bring me goodies, the owner of an architectural firm who made it a point to learn my name when we met so we wouldn't be strangers, Bob with his millions of packages, the woman that drove to Costco up the road and came back in the rain to give me a brochure from their optical department, Jim and his flawless Spanish for an old white guy... As much as I hated what I did, and this job felt like such a waste of my time (5.5 scheduled hours a week at $8.50/hr and $5 by bus to get there- 'waste' might be an understatement), I will definitely miss the people that made my time there truly great. It was an emotional day, not to mention I felt like CRAPPPPPP!!!!, I'm just glad its over. Its time for me to move on.
I did have an appointment with my surgeon on Wednesday, the first day I woke up feeling this awful since whenever that was last week. I was prepared for a fight, and with the way I felt, I was not above being a total B to get what I wanted. Luckily, that didn't end up happening. The surgeon pretty much told me that despite what my HIDA scan said, if I was having problems due to a stone or stones, then that mother needs to come out! I was so glad because I was so afraid the HIDA was the be-all, end-all. The scan is when they inject me with a radioactive dye (I didn't even get superpowers from that- gypped!) and take a series of pictures- for 40 minutes!- of my gallbladder's ability to contract and dump out its contents into my stomach. The test was slightly painful and super boring, and said my gallbladder is functioning at 74% capacity. In other words, normally. But, I have pain within an hour or 30 minutes after I eat. I have pain at night for no reason. I have had to cut stuff out of my diet- like red meat, oatmeal, peanut butter, carbonated beverages (I don't drink soda, but I like sparkling water and hard ciders), and am unable to eat animal products of any kind in my first meal of the day. Not. Cool. So, it looks like my surgery will be taking place sometime after the holidays. WOOHOO! I'm so happy for that result.
Hopefully this junk will leave my system soon (where does this goo keep coming from!?!?!) so I can get back on track and can spend more time Sparking coherently.
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