Race reports, doctor appointments, goals and more

So, hey. How ya doing? I guess it’s been a little while, huh? If you were to check my blog each year at around this time of year, you would probably find the same thing – few and far between posts.

See, the thing is, I get in a funk this time of year. As it gets colder and there is less and less daylight, I get crabbier and crabbier and kind of get in a funk of sorts. I try not to, but it just happens. Every year. Winter is NOT my favorite season. At. All.

Well, I apologize. I will try – TRY – to post a little more often this winter season. But, I’m not making any guarantees or promises. Just hang with me, okay? I am gonna warn you for this post…IT. IS. GOING. TO. BE…….LONG!!!!!!

RACE REPORTS

So, first things first…races #29 and #30! YES! I hit my goal of participating in 30 different organized running events this year.

Number 29 was the Turkey Trot in Fergus Falls on November 16. We – my hubby, Al, and I – did the 10K this year. This was the first year that distance was offered. We’ve ran in Fergus Falls before and so we knew the race would probably include some hills. BUT…we didn’t quite expect the route to be as hilly as it was. The weather was kind of chilly that day, but not too bad for running a race. Al finished the race in 51:29 (according to his sports watch) and I finished in 1:04:44 (according to my LogYourRun Pro app on my phone). Because of how hilly the race was, we were both actually pleased with our times. Here’s a photo from after the race:

The next pic is the map with route and elevation of the run. Yes, it was HILLY! As much as I disliked the hills, I liked the hills because they were challenging and I am always up for a challenge.

And lastly, here is a look at my splits, as well as my husband’s splits. Can you tell which miles we both struggled on? Mine are on the left (obviously!) and Al’s are on the right. We thought they were kind of interesting.

Our next race took place on Thanksgiving Day. Our YMCA held it’s third-annual Turkey Day 5K. This year, however, was a little different; the race wasn’t timed. It was just a fun run.

However, I didn’t care that it wasn’t timed. This was my first race with a new gadget I bought – an early Christmas present! I got the new Garmin Forerunner 220. Yes, there is a fancier one, the Garmin Forerunner 620, but the 220 works for my needs, PLUS, it was cheaper! And, I have to say, I AM LOVING IT! I have tried several watches in the past, not because I don’t like my iPhone app, LogYourRun Pro, but because I like gadgets and because my husband has one a watch – the Nike+ SportWatch by TomTom. And, he loves his watch. I tried the Nike+ one and then I tried a different one, can’t remember what it was, but I brought them all back. I just didn’t like how they felt on my wrist. I love, love, love the way this one feels. It’s not stiff. It’s just perfect. Here’s a pic of what it looks like:

Okay, back to the YMCA Turkey Day 5K. I have to admit I was a little bummed with my time. Because it was the last race of the season, I was really hoping that I could get under 30 minutes. I thought I was pushing myself, but it was kind of cold and there were a couple of inclines that got me. My time, according to my new watch, was 30:14. Yes, I am still happy with my time, but I was just hoping to get under that dang 30-minute mark. Al finished the race in an even 24:00 minutes. Out of the 200 or so runners, Al guessed that he came in within the first 20 runners. So cool. He’s so awesome!

After the race while we were warming up inside the YMCA.

A look at my splits, as well as the weather. This is just a few pieces of information I can now look at on the GarminConnect website after I upload the information from my watch. (Can you tell I am slightly excited about it?!?!) There is so much information, it’s really kind of cool. Especially, if you are a data geek!

There, race reports complete. Onto some not so fun stuff!

DOCTOR APPOINTMENTS

Yes, plural. As in more than one doctor appointment since the last time I blogged. First things first, ATTENTION MEN……you may want to skip this part!

So in a previous blog post, I talked about the feeling I had after running long distance…you know, the feeling like my uterus was going to fall out. Well, at the suggestion of many of you, I decided to checked with my doctor. Turns out, some of you were right. I have pelvic organ prolapse. Here’s a brief description from the brochure that my doctor gave me:

Almost one half of women who have babies have some degree of prolapse. Those who have bigger babies – my son was 9-pounds, 3-ounces – have an increased chance of prolapse. Keeping in mine, that my baby is now 20-years-old. Still floors me.

Anyway, my OB/GYN said that basically, if I can deal with it, to deal with it. If it gets bad enough, there are other options. But for now, if I am good with it, just go with it. So, that is what I am going to do. Just go with it. At least I know what it is and that for the most part, I’m normal! Well, as normal as I can be.

In addition to the whole uterus-might-be-falling-out-thing. I have been dealing with a couple of other issues. Seriously, you turn 40 (well, okay, I’m 41) and your whole body starts falling apart. Sad thing is, this is the healthiest I’ve been since probably high school.

Anyway, I’ve been dealing with some major heartburn/GERD issues lately and have been scarfing down Rolaids/Tums like there’s no tomorrow. Well, after I posted on Facebook asking friends what they felt worked best for heartburn, I had several people tell me to go get checked by the doctor. So….I did. She gave me a prescription for Pantoprazole. I have to take it for two weeks. If it’s not better, I have to call her back and then I get to have a scope done. Yippee.

I also talked to her about the shoulder pain I have been having in my right shoulder that I have been dealing with. Yes, dealing with. I’ve had it for the last oh, four to six months or so. I just thought it would get better on its own. Guess not. It has actually gotten worse. It even wakes me up in the middle of the night and I can’t ever sleep on my right side anymore. So, the doctor’s prediction? A torn rotator cuff. Really? Really? I don’t remember injuring it or anything. AARGH! Whatever! Because she wasn’t 100 percent positive, today, I got to have an MRI done. Oh, joy! Seriously, those things are just awful. Awful. Now, we play the waiting game.

And if all that isn’t bad enough…………I have a hearing appointment on December 30. Yes, you “heard” me right, a hearing appointment. I’ve been struggling for quite some time and to be honest, kind of faking my way through it when talking to people. I figured as long as I was talking to the doctor about all that other crap, I may as well talk to her about my hearing. When I visited the doctor, she had a student doctor with her and my doctor let the student do a prelim hearing test on me to see if a “real” hearing test was warranted. Obviously, being I have an appointment scheduled, the test is warranted. I have to say, the tests were pretty cool. The student did a couple of hearing tuning fork tests on me. The first, the Weber’s test, is where the tuning fork, once activated, is place on my forehead and then I was told to say which side I could hear better with or if there was no difference at all. Oddly, the sound was WAY louder on my left side. I could barely hear it on my right. Seriously, it was so weird. The second test, the Rinne’s Test, is where the tuning fork was placed behind each ear after it was activated. She did my left first and I could hear it, but it wasn’t super loud by any means. Then, she did the right side and WHOA!, the sound was about half as loud as it was in my left ear. Again, it was weird, kind of bizarre and almost surreal for some reason.

At any rate, both the doctor and the student concluded that a hearing test was definitely warranted and so, December 30 I get to go see an audiologist! Yeah, me. Seriously, I am so excited. I don’t give two cents if I end up with hearing aids. If I can hear, I am totally 100 percent fine with it. I just hope everyone else is!

Now, let’s talk about something a little more upbeat…goals!

GOALS

I set a goal this year to do 30 organized events/races. I achieved that. I don’t necessarily want to do that many races next year, so instead, I set a goal of completing at least two half-marathons. Yes, I know I said once upon a time if – and that was a pretty big IF – I ever did a half-marathon, I would only do one and then never do one again. Yeah, that didn’t work out. I’ve now completed two half-marathons. And now, I want to do two half-marathons…in one year! Crazy. Well, crazy for me. I know for some, half-marathons are no big deal. But to me, it is a BIG deal.

My hubby and I have already signed up for one half-marathon…the Fargo half-marathon in early May. I’m kind of excited about this, but at the same time, extremely nervous because this means some or much of my training will have to be done on a treadmill. And most of you know how I feel about treadmills. I have been running on one at our local YMCA, but it is SO not my favorite. I will run outside – yes, even in the snow (see below) – before running on the treadmill. Unless, of course, it is beastly cold out like it currently is in our town!

Running on snow-packed trails really adds time to you time!

As for our other half-marathon, we are not sure yet which one. We know we want to do a destination run, but we are unsure where we want to go. We are thinking sometime in October, late November (not early because of elections…my newspaper editor husband just might be a bit busy during this time) or early December. We would love to do another Rock ‘n’ Roll series race, but not sure where. We are now thinking San Antonio, Texas or Vancouver, British Columbia. However, the Canadian one scares me just a bit because I’m thinking that race might be kind of hilly. I know, I shouldn’t let that scare me. And it doesn’t when it comes to a 5K or a 10K, but 13.1 miles, ummmm, not so sure.

Other states we are looking at, although the race wouldn’t be a Rock ‘n’ Roll series one, include Florida, Oregon, Idaho or maybe even Maine. We are doing some research and will make a decision maybe after the first of the year.

As for other running goals, I really want to work on trying to get a little faster. I really would like to get under the 30-minute mark for my 5K’s and I would really, really, really love to be consistent at getting under an hour for my 10K’s. I will admit that I think the treadmill will help me with this. When I run outside, I let myself slow down and don’t push as hard as I probably could. On a treadmill, it’s not quite as easy to slow down. Plus, it might be one way for me to tolerate the treadmill – to play on it and push myself. I guess time will tell.

AND MORE…

As if all my ramblings haven’t been enough, I will share just a bit more. I’ve. Been. Struggling. Struggling with my food choices. There’s that one saying I have used many times, you know the one about what you eat in private. Well, yeah, that’s been me…to a tee…100 percent! If you don’t know the saying, it goes a little something like this:

Or maybe something a little like this:

Yep, that’s kind of been me lately. I eat good when everyone is around and then when I am by myself, especially when I am in the car driving from meeting to meeting, I can’t seem to control myself. Chocolate donuts. Ice cream. Frosting. Doritos. Cheetos. Fast food. Oh, boy! It has been horrible lately. Sometimes, I track what I eat. Sometimes, I don’t. I am lucky that I have kept up with my exercising – for the most part – but I know if I don’t watch it, it’s going to get even more out of control. (Although I’m not so sure it can!)

As for my weight, which I know you are all wondering about, right? For right now, it has been staying mostly the same. Although I did do a little experiment awhile back. I talk with my Weight Watchers members on a regular basis about how much our weigh can fluctuate on a daily basis. And, that there are so many factors/variables that can cause this fluctuation, including but not limited to sodium intake, water consumption, activity and more. I do typically weigh myself every day, but I only pay attention to what I weigh each Friday. My weight gains and losses only count each and every Friday. My experiment, or whatever you want to call it, is that I weighed myself almost every day for a week AND kept track, just to show just how much it can fluctuate. On Friday, November 22, I weighed 140.8. I didn’t weigh on Saturday or Sunday, but then on Monday, November 25, I did and my weight jumped up to 146 something (I didn’t really pay attention to the “. whatever” again until Friday. My weight on Tuesday, November 26 was 143.?. On Wednesday, November 27, it was 144.? My weight on Thursday, November 38 was 145.? and then on Friday, when my weight actually counted, I was 141.8. So, even though during the week, I had gained/loss about six or so pounds, my actual true weigh gain/loss was that I was up one pound. I was okay with that. I will see what happens tomorrow, when I “officially” weigh in again. My guess….up one or two more pounds. YIKES! Like many of members this time of year who struggle and tell themselves it’s time to get back on track. They are right. IT IS TIME! Time to get my head out of my arse and get back to plan and NO MORE eating in private. Enough is enough. I won’t let myself gain as much as I did last winter – about 10 pounds. It was awful and I don’t want to feel like that again.

Well, this post is definitely WAY TOO LONG. It’s time to say goodnight! Take care my dear readers. And remember, you can always find me on Facebook and also, you can find me on Instagram (#celbeam). I would love to have you follow me!

We did it!

Where do I begin? Our five-year wedding anniversary trip is over and we are now back home in good ol’ Alexandria, Minnesota. We ran our second half-marathon, we drank lots of wine, we ate good food and oh, so much more.

I have so many great memories of our trip to California…the time spent with my amazingly awesome husband, the scenery, the wineries, the weather, the food, the walks, the talks, the people, the wines and of course, THE race.

But there is one memory that will forever stay etched in my mind and is one I will never forget because it brought me to sobbing tears. Something happened that I never expected and made me believe in something I never thought I would, nor could. It’s kind of weird, to be honest. (And technically, there are two events that brought me to tears, but let me tell you about the first one first!)

The photo below, captured by a MarathonFoto photographer, says it all. Well, if you know the story behind it, that is!

It may not be the best photo, but it still brings tears to my eyes. And you can’t necessarily see it in this photo, but I was sobbing at this point.

Let me back up a little. I love running to music and a couple of weeks before the race, I asked my son, Brandon, to make me a playlist of songs. I said I wasn’t picky and that I just wanted fun, upbeat, up tempo music to run to. The only requirement…it couldn’t include rap…well, not all rap. I was open to pretty much anything else. I never got a playlist from him. And, I will admit, I was a little irked at first. UNTIL, he explained to me that it was kind of a lot of pressure and that he didn’t want it to be his fault if I ran slow because of the music he picked. Totally didn’t think of that, but after he explained it, it made TOTAL sense. I was no longer irked.

So, fast-forward to the day before the race as Al and I were sitting in our hotel room in downtown San Jose. I finally decided that I would just make a quick playlist and pick random songs that I knew I liked and were upbeat, up tempo and good for running. Well, for the most part. I put a total of 56 songs in my “San Jose half-marathon playlist,” including songs by Bruce Springsteen, Adele, Train, Sting, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Nickelback, Ozzy Osbourne, Chickenfoot, Linkin Park, Maroon Five, Eagles, Lady Gaga, Eddie Vedder, Bush, Rihanna, Styx, David Cook, Muse, Pink, Neon Trees, U2, Triumph, LMFAO, Bob Seger, Candlebox and Miley Cyrus. Yes, Miley. I know Miss Cyrus is kind of getting a bad rap right now, but there is one song of hers I absolutely love, “The Climb.”

Now keep in mind, I had 56 different songs and when I hit “play,” I hit shuffle. There was no particular order to my music. I just listened to whatever came next. Now, fast forward to about mile 10, when I started getting pretty tired and kind of, somewhat, delirious. I had all sorts of thoughts running through my mind. Runners do this. Just ask my husband, or better yet, read his opinion column that was in the Friday edition of the Echo Press!

For some reason, I was really thinking about my sister, Donna, who passed away from breast cancer nearly three years ago. I thought about how proud of me she would have been for running, as well as how crazy she probably thought I was for taking up the sport! Donna always supported me, no matter what I was into and no matter what I was doing. I know my other five siblings also support me and are proud of me, but Donna and I just had this thing, this bond. Sometimes, I feel bad for that. I really do. Anyway, as I was running, I was thinking about how cool it would have been to have her there cheering me on, but then I thought, you know what, she is with me. She’s always with me because she is forever in my heart.

I know my sister, Karen, has “felt” Donna’s presence from time to time and things have happened that make her know Donna is “there.” I’ve always been a little jealous of that, but at the same time, fearful. I have to be honest with you here, I am not the biggest believer of spirits or “that” kind of stuff. You know, GHOSTS!

But I tell you what, I am now a believer.

Around mile 11 or 12, I said to myself (not out loud!), “Okay, Donna, if you are here, make sure ‘The Climb’ plays before I am done. That way, I know you are here with me.”

I kept listening. I kept running. I kept getting closer to the finish line. Right before the voice in my earbuds announced, “mile 13,” Miley’s voice came through loud and clear and “The Climb,” started playing. I lost it. I couldn’t hold back. The tears just flowed freely. I sobbed – almost uncontrollably. It was the moment I wanted, needed. It was exactly what I knew would get me to the finish line. And it couldn’t have been more picture perfect or more “Lifetime” movie-like. It felt like I was running in slow motion. I felt alone, but yet I knew I wasn’t. Donna was there – well, along with the hundreds of spectators lining the streets. It was the most surreal moment I have ever had in my life. Almost unexplainable.

The second the song was done, I shut my music off. I didn’t need to hear anymore. I didn’t want to hear anymore. And within seconds, or what felt like seconds, I crossed the finish line. My pace, which was at a 14:06, dropped to an 11:54 during the song. It was my only negative split during the whole race, which means my pace dropped and I ran faster than the previously recorded time.

Within seconds of crossing the finish line, I spotted the only familiar face in the crowd, my husband’s. I couldn’t have been happier to see him at that very moment. He grabbed me, hugged me tightly and once again, I sobbed like a baby.

This is another shot that the photographer got of “THAT” moment. Whoever it was has no idea how much this means to me. Thank you, Marathonfoto.

Stay tuned this week for more about our trip, including TONS of pics. If you want to see pics now, check out my Facebook page.

Here’s what he said…

My husband, Al, who is the editor of the Echo Press newspaper, wrote about his experience running the half-marathon in Las Vegas. The story, along with a picture of him running the race, ran in the Opinion section of the newspaper last Friday.

His story is very vivid and almost makes it feel as if you could have been running right beside him. I would love for all of you to read it, so here is a link to the story from the newspaper’s website: Highs and lows of a half-marathon.

Check it out and let me know your thoughts!

Thanks!

Have to share…sorry!

Okay, so awhile back I posted about an award I received. Well, even though I used to work at the newspaper, I didn’t even think about putting something in about it. However, because my husband still works there – he’s the editor of the Echo Press in case you didn’t know – he thought we should put something in the business section.

Well, duh, of course! So, I just have to share me in the newspaper…here is the article:

Yep, here I am, in my local newspaper, the Echo Press...www.echopress.com!

When one door closes, another one opens

I am going to share with you, my dear readers, my last column for the newspaper, which is in today’s issue, February 11.

Enjoy. Here it is:

As I sat down to my computer, fingers poised upon my keyboard, I was motionless, not knowing what to type, what to say, who to thank or how to put into words what I am feeling.

Joy. Sadness. Excitement. Nervousness. Eagerness. Confident. Inspired. Passionate. Determined. Tearful. Anxious. Fortunate. Thankful.

After nearly 12 years – or 11 years, 8 months and 23 days to be exact – I am leaving the wonderful world of print journalism.

I am not leaving because newspapers are dying or dwindling. Newspapers are alive and vibrant. And a necessary part of life; in my humble opinion anyway.

I am not leaving because of the company I work for, the people I work for or the people I work with. They are a great bunch of people (and no, I did not get paid to say that!).

I am not leaving because of the people in this community, either. No one made me mad or angry or upset. There wasn’t an incident that caused me to terminate my employment. I don’t think I can express just how I feel about this community and how truly wonderful it is. And I am not just saying that either. It is how I feel from the bottom of my heart.

So, if nothing is wrong and I am not disgruntled in any way, shape or form, then why am I leaving?

As many of you know, a little more than two years ago, I embarked on a healthy living journey. On November 19, 2008, I joined Weight Watchers. That one small step, that one little, but major decision, changed my life.

And now, I am hoping that I can do the same for others as my Weight Watchers leader did for me. Fortunately and unfortunately, I guess, I have found a new passion. A new calling. A new career. A new opportunity. I may have started my journey with Weight Watchers back in 2008, but the real journey is just beginning. I’ve now become a full-time Weight Watchers leader and my hope is that I can play a part in stopping the obesity epidemic that is plaguing our nation. I hope that I can be the shimmer of light, the glimmer of hope for those who are struggling with weight issues – just like I did and still do.

You can continue reading about my journey in my blog – Confessions of a [former] Fat Girl – at http://fatgirl.areavoices.com/.

Although my journey with the newspaper is coming to an end, I hope my connections – the friendships and relationships – I have made in this community don’t. I have met, interviewed and wrote about so many interesting people. I have covered intriguing, controversial county, school, community and environmental issues.

I have written about life and death. I have written uplifting and hopeful stories. I have written stories about sadness and loss and tragedy.

The Echo Press – and this community – has afforded me with so many wonderful opportunities. There are so many of them, I can’t even begin to list them all. Nor can I begin to thank those of you who had a part in providing me with so many unique and positive experiences.

I’ve been a firefighter. I rode along with Alexandria police officers and Douglas County sheriff’s deputies. I went tandem skydiving. I rode in a B-24 World War II bomber airplane. I did a 360-degree loop-de-loop in the world’s first ethanol-fueled MX-2 airplane. I rode in a Minnesota Department of Transportation snowplow.

I was rescued by a member of the Douglas County Dive Team when I “fell” through the ice. I’ve been tazed by a real Tazer gun, willingly, by law enforcement. I’ve been bass fishing with a pro. I tried to catch a muskie with an avid muskie fisherman. I took part in the Citizen’s Police Academy. I’ve spent time in jail – again, willingly.

My mind is filled with so many wonderful memories that I will cherish for the rest of my life.

I was recently told how lucky I am to have come across two things – jobs/careers – I love because many people in life never even find one. I am truly blessed.

Although it seems simple, thank you. Thank you for reading my articles and columns. Thank you for letting me share your stories. Thank you for allowing me to be a part of your life.

If you see me out and about in the community, I hope you stop and say hello. And if you do, I have but one small request, call me by my real name – Celeste Edenloff.

NOTE: In the newspaper, my byline was Celeste Beam as that was my name when I started. When my husband and I got married, we decided to leave my last name as is for the newspaper…for two reasons. One, it would have been too long to put on one line and therefore would have looked weird in the paper and two, my husband is the editor of the paper!

As many of you know, you can find me, Celeste Edenloff, on Facebook, as well as Confessions of [former] Fat Girl on Facebook. Click here for the link to my Confessions Facebook site.