Jotting off a quick note to update and thank all of you, my sparkfriends, for the way that you encourage me everyday. It's been a bit of a trying couple of weeks and add to that my typical hectic schedule and I was beginning to feel like beating myself up for not accomplishing all that I thought I "should" or "could". But, thanks to all of you, I was able to step back and see that I was doing all that was possible for me at this point in time and that is enough.
Last night, I went with friends and cooked and served dinner at our local homeless shelter. Tacos and mac n cheese for about 150 people. It was a very rewarding experience and once again opened my eyes to just how fragile life is and how very blessed I am, but it did make for quite a late night.....and this morning I had to be up to meet with friends for a long run.
Woke up in plenty of time, but with a headache (which I rarely get) and a bit of tummy touble. I was still tired and coupled with not feeling well, I was half tempted to cancel, but I have missed to much training already, so I made a deal with myself that all I needed to do was show up and get started. I could go slow, but I needed to just try and do what I could. I drank a couple of glasses of coconut water - for the electrolytes - to try to offset any damage the stomach issues were causing hydration wise, and then filled my water bottles on my belt with more coconut water and water mixed. In addition, I packed some Power Bar fruit gels as I am trying different methods of fueling and they seemed the lightest/safest option for the troubled tummy, and I was pretty certain that since I was not feeling up to my usual hearty breakfast, that they might be needed if I was able to "go the distance".
When I got to the park, my friend from my community group and another dear Sparkfriend were already there and introducing themselves, so we gathered ourselves and hit the road around 8:30ish. We maintained a pretty consistent slower pace of around 11:15-11:25 min miles, both in an effort to not overdo my already physically compromised state and to also give us the best chance of bettering our long run distance. Since Deb (from my cmmunity group) is just getting back into running, she did a run/walk mix, but Darlene and I were committed to keep running....and running....and running back to check in with Debbie...and then running some more. A couple miles in, I started sipping on the coconut water every few minutes and at about 4 miles or so, I chewed a gel about every half mile or so just to keep going. We didn't beat any land records for speed, but that was not what this run was about. For Darlene, it was one of the longest she has ever done and the longest in recent history and for me, I consider it an acheivement to have even showed up....much less to have done the 6.25 miles in 71 minutes.
I am so grateful for such good friends to encourage me an inspire me to push myself, even when I'm not feeling like I can push any harder. I am greatly blessed! I was an effort and I have done the distance and felt better afterwards, but given how I felt when I woke up, I think it was a success.
Beyond that, on the way home, I stopped at the resale store I used to manage and found a nearly new bike helmet for $2.50, a two-piece swimsuit (bikini no less) that doesn't look half bad on this 50 year old body for $1.50, a lightweight summer robe for$1.00. and a desk organizer for $1.00, and 6 printer cartridges - expired but only 50 cents each. I was able to take the cartridges into Office Depot for the recycling program and get a $3.00 credit for each one - and since 5 of the 6 were new (unopened) even though they were over 2 years expired, they ggave me credit for 10 instead of 6 = $30.00 store credit on my quaterly statement. That's a $20.00 gain and I don't need to go looking for a deal on a bike helmet now!
The combination of the stomach issues, heat and run did take alot out of me. My BP dropped again - pretty low which only made the headache worse, but I was able to get a short nap and eat well today and get it back up to almost 100/65 - and my pulse remained strong and 61, so I am grateful that I had the forethought to drink the coconut water before and during the run to minimize the electrolyte loss and was able to rehydrate relatively quickly. Even despit the stomach issue, the Power Bar gels worked okay and did't seem to cause any further stomach problems so that was a good experience. All in all a good day and got some catching up on the puter done....though still a ways to go.
Pretty late now though, and I think I'm going to relax and do a little reading for enjoyment - just because I can before sleep tonight.
Tomorrow's another day - SPARK STRONG EVERYONE, and much thanks for all of your encouragement! You inspire me in so many ways to be the best I can possibly be - far beyond what I would ever dream, I am eternally grateful!