Fargo half is almost here…and more on racing and running!

I think I am ready for this Saturday’s Fargo Marathon Half-Marathon race! I may not have followed the training schedule as well as I did when I trained for the Rock-n-Roll San Jose Half-Marathon, but I still trained and I feel good. Pretty good, actually.

I’ve ran a few long runs – 8 miles, 10 miles (a couple of times), 11 miles and even a 12-miler. I’ve had some good times, slow times, decent times and horrible times, but nonetheless, I think I am ready. I am actually kind of excited, to be honest.

One of the best parts is that I feel like with just the little while I have been taking my asthma medication (Pulmacort inhaler twice a day), my asthma is better under control. We raced this past weekend and my breathing seemed to be better. I wasn’t huffing and puffing as bad as before and I only used my regular inhaler (Albuterol) twice during our first race and I didn’t use it at all during the second race. AND…the best part, I didn’t really have coughing attacks after either of the races! For me, as of late, that is pretty big news.

Bring on the half-marathon!

RUNNING AND RACING

So yes, the hubster and I raced twice this weekend – we ran a 10K on Saturday morning in Glenwood and a 5K Saturday afternoon in Alexandria. We’ve never done back-to-back races quite like that and I have to admit, it was a challenge, but it was also a lot of fun!

This was taken after the Minnewaska Warmup by a guy we met. He just turned 70-years-old and started running last year. Turned out he was from the area I grew up in and I actually knew his son, who happened to graduate with my brother! Small world! It was fun talking to the guy, who said he plans on running in at least 7-8 races this year! Rock on, Ken! You are a true inspiration!

My hubby ended up placing 3rd in his age group for this race. So proud of him!

Yes, it was a wee-bit chilly with the wind blowing off the lake! We were grateful for the sun shining, but the wind, not so much! Felt like you were running in place half the time – at BOTH races!

This was taken after the second race, which was a fundraiser for Theatre L’Homme Dieu. Being that is the Run for the Roses, all participants received roses after they crossed the finish line. For a first-ever race, the event was very well run and organized! Kudos to the organizers!

I was pretty happy with my time at both races! I actually ended up getting a PR (personal record) for this year for a 10K. I was pretty stoked! And I love when my Garmin displays my new records. It gives me that little extra motivation I need some times!

“Wall of Fame”

Over the course of the last few years, my hubby, Al, and I have really taken to running. We love (most) everything about it, especially participating in races. Since 2009, when we ran our first-ever 5K, we have acquired several racing medals – most are just participation medals, but some are actually “winning” medals, such as winning 1st, 2nd or 3rd in our age groups. Yes, even I have won in my age group!

Our medals have just been hanging on a couple of dresser drawer knobs and we were trying to figure out what to do with them. I finally came up with an idea – a vision, if you will – and with the help of a friend of ours, my vision for a racing “wall of fame” came to fruition recently. I posted the picture on my Facebook page awhile back, so you may have already seen it, but I couldn’t resist posting it here as well. I am trying hard not to make it look too brag-a-docious, but I have to say, I am pretty proud of both my husband and I for what we have accomplished in just a few short years.

So, in 2009, we participated in one race, a 5K, which we completed in 40:55. (Al used to run with me, but now, we run separately and it works so much better!) In 2010, there were nine races, including our first-ever 10K, which I ran in 1:09:33 and Al finished in 1:01:22. Then in 2011, we nearly doubled the amount of races we participated in and ran in 16 different events including a 7K and three more 10K’s. In 2012, we nearly doubled our races again, running in 27 different events, including our very 10-miler and our first half-marathon, the Rock-n-Roll Las Vegas Half-Marathon! I finished in 2:59:57 and Al finished in 2:05:45. Last year, 2013, we hit 30 races! We did lots of 5K’s, 10K’s, a half-marathon relay and another Rock-n-Roll Half-Marathon. This time, it was in San Jose and it was to celebrate our five-year wedding anniversary. That half-marathon went much better than the first – Al finished in 1:56:11 and I finished in 2:38:31. We both felt great!

So far in 2014, we have finished nine races, including five 5K’s, a 7K, two 10K’s and one 10-miler. This weekend’s Fargo Half-Marathon will be our 10th race of the year and our 93rd race since it all began back in 2009!

We are not sure what the rest of the year will bring or how many races there will be. We know for sure there is another half-marathon – another Rock-n-Roll series one. This time, in Denver, Colorado in October, which we are so looking forward to. There is one more for sure in May, four in June, possibly three in July, possibly four in August, one for sure in September, two for sure in October and who knows what November and December will bring. The one thing we know for sure is that we’ll keep running as long as our bodies let us. We love it. It’s us. It is our life. And we wouldn’t change it for anything!

 

I. Have. Asthma. Period.

April 12. Fred Kurz 10-mile race in the Twin Cities. Worst. Time. Breathing. EVER!

Around mile six, maybe even seven or eight, I started having a harder-than-usual time breathing. By mile nine, I was breathing pretty hard. Not gasping, mind you. But definitely different than my normal heavy-almost-panting-while-running breathing. I used my albuterol inhaler before the race, like I typically do any time I run – race or while out on a training run. The inhaler has always helped. Always.

Not that day.

About a year ago, or maybe even two now, I was diagnosed with exercise-induced asthma. Not a big deal, really. I was giving an inhaler and was told to use it before any type of strenuous exercise. Okay. Cool. I could manage that. (Although I will admit there were numerous times, I forgot to take it before running and boy could I tell a difference!)

After crossing the finish line that day, I managed to walk to a place I could sit down so I could try and catch my breath. I could barely talk. And, all it seemed I could manage to do was cough and wheeze. Cough. Cough. Cough. Wheeze. Wheeze. Wheeze. And suck air.

The hubster and I eventually walked into the school where the race had finished so I could use the restroom and get some water. I coughed. I sucked some more air. Within a couple of minutes, I told my husband that we had to go. I. couldn’t. breath. I needed my inhaler and it was in the car.

We made it to the car and I grabbed the inhaler immediately and took several puffs. I waited. I coughed. Trying not to panic because I knew that would make it worse, I softly mentioned that we should probably get back to the hotel. I took a couple more puffs on the way. And, I coughed. Still, somewhat, struggling to get enough air. I remained as calm as I could be. Meanwhile, I think my husband may have a little concerned because I didn’t really talk. And if you know me, you know something is wrong if I quit talking. I always talk. A lot. As calm as he tried to be, I think my husband was a wee-bit concerned and contemplated bringing me in to a doctor.

Instead, I texted my son, who has asthma and knows all too well what I was going through. He’s been going through it since he was 18-months old. He’s now 20. So yes, he knows a thing or two about not being able to breathe. I wanted to know how many times I could puff on the inhaler. He told me, “as many times as it takes to breathe.” I did just that.

By the time we arrived back at the hotel, I was breathing better. Not exactly normal yet, but better. I was still pretty quiet, except, I still had the annoying and loud cough. I ran a hot bath and sat there for quite some time. The heat and humidity of the bath, I think, helped me breath even better. I remember taking my son, when he was younger, into the bathroom and just sitting there while I let the hot water run with the door shut so that it would get all steamy. It always helped. And it helped me that day, too.

I will admit, I was slightly scared of how I felt after that run and of not being able to catch my breath. And of the coughing. Oh, the coughing. As annoying as it was, though, the coughing felt good – kind of – to keep doing it. It helped me to take better and bigger breaths for some reason.

The day of the race, it had rained, so it was damp out, plus it was windy and slightly chilly. I am not sure if that had anything to do with it or not. I ended up not actually doing too bad in the race. I finished the race, which by my Garmin, said it was 10.08 miles, in one hour, 50 minutes and 4 seconds (01:50:04). Not my best, but not my worst. Because of not being to breath so well after the race, my husband and I didn’t take any pictures at the race. Instead, we had the hotel clerk take one when we got back. By the way, my husband finished in one hour, twenty-eight minutes and 36 seconds (01:28:36).

That race was Saturday, April 12. On Monday, April 14, I had a little visit with my doctor. He put me on prednisone and told me to keep taking the inhaler as needed. I asked him if he thought I should stop running and he reassured me I didn’t have to. He thought the prednisone would take care of it, along with inhaler and that everything would be fine.

It was. For a short while. About a week. And then, the prednisone wore off and I was right back to wheezing, coughing and sucking air before, after and during all my runs.

Fast-forward to Wednesday, April 23. I was back at the doctor’s office. The wheezing had gotten worse. Especially, after a run. The coughing was still there, annoying as ever. And as usual, it was worse after I ran. I was waking up in the middle of the night, wheezing and trying to catch my breath.

Asthma.

Yep. I am an asthmatic. No longer labeled as exercise-induced asthma. I have the real deal. The real McCoy. I. Have. Asthmas. Plain and simple. I am sure many of you are probably screaming at me at this point, “QUIT RUNNING!”

BUT………I assure you, I am fine. I just have asthma. It’s not that big of deal. Really. I was given a steroid inhaler – Pulmacort – that I take twice a day and probably will for quite some time. And, I still use my regular inhaler – the Albuterol – as needed. I now not only take it before a run, but I carry it with me while I am running and have had to use it on most of my runs.

Before getting all bent out of shape and thinking I am damned fool for continuing to run, I will assure you my doctor said it was okay. I asked him point blank, “Do I have to quit running?” He replied, “Absolutely not!” He said we just have to manage the asthma and that there are several star athletes in the same boat as me – they are asthmatics, too.

Not that I didn’t believe him, but I just wanted to double check, so I Googled, “star athletes with asthma” and there were quite a few, including Jackie Joyner-Kersee (gold medalist track and field star), Amy Van Kyken (swimmer), Jerome Bettis (football player), Paula Radcliffe (marathoner), Dennis Rodman (basketball player), Justine Henin (tennis player) and Pete Vanderkaay (swimmer). And I am sure there are tons more.

So, my plan is to keep running…until my doctor says I need to stop.

I will run as fast as my lungs will let me!

The countdown is on, running and racing, plus some fantastic food finds

It’s time to get serious…the countdown to the Fargo Half-Marathon is on.

There is a countdown timer on the website and I have to admit, it kind of freaked me out.

32 days. THIRTY-TWO DAYS! How the heck did that happen? I’m not ready. At least I don’t think so. Or maybe I don’t feel as ready as I was for the San Jose Half-Marathon last October. The half that I actually followed a training schedule. This time? Not so much.

Why? Three words. 1. Winter. 2. Snow. 3. Cold.

I know one thing is for sure, I don’t think I will ever sign up for a spring half-marathon again. At least not while I am living in the winters-from-hell state of MinneSNOWta! Seriously, between all the dumb snowstorms and the bitterly cold temperatures, there wasn’t much running/training happening. I did actually run some on the DREADmill at the YMCA, but seriously, I don’t think I ever ran more than three and half miles on it. I. Am. Not. A. Fan. of the dreaded treadmill, hence the DREADmill name!

There was one day where it was snow storming and I was just pissy, so I said, “Screw it!” and went out for a run anyway. I only ran four miles, but it was four miles I didn’t have to do on the treadmill!

In the last couple of weeks, I’ve gotten in a few runs, more than I thought I would and that makes me happy. I did get in a couple of long runs, too. I did an eight-mile and on Sunday, April 6, I did a 10-mile.

I think the temps were actually in the 50′s, which was SO NICE! When I got back, my hubby was sitting on the deck, so I decided to hang with him for a bit. It felt so good just to crash and lay on the deck with my feet up – on the table and straight up in the air! The run felt awesome and I actually shaved off about three minutes from the last time I ran a 10-miler, which was at the Monster Dash in October!

Training will continue as best it can for the next 32 days. I guess, maybe, just maybe, I might be more ready than I think for the upcoming half-marathon. I guess we’ll see how this weekend’s 10-mile race goes.

Speaking of which, if you are a runner who lives in, around or near the Twin Cities area, you really should check out this Saturday’s race – the Fred Kurz 10-mile! According to the race website – click here – “Starting times are handicapped by the “world-renowned” Lanin Guessimetric Method, with the slowest runners starting first and, ideally, all runners finishing at about the same time.” How cool is that? Additionally, the race is easy on the pocketbook – it’s only $15 to enter – or $8 if you are a member of the Minnesota Distance Running Association (MDRA). Seriously, check it out!

WHAT ELSE HAS BEEN HAPPENING?

We’ve had a couple of races since my last posting. And, I have had some awesome food finds. The rest of my post will be done in pictures. Enjoy!

This is from the Get Lucky 7K race in the Twin Cities on March 15.

I finished the 7K in 43:28. I was pumped because I was shooting for around 45 minutes. I was honestly ecstatic about my time!

Al did awesome, as well! Seriously, he kicked some major butt!

This is from the iRock Run in Cold Spring, MN, which benefits the Big Brothers Big Sisters program. It was a nice day, although a little windy. My hubby, Al, finished in 24:45. I finished in 29:33, which is a PR for this year. And my friend, Tonya, finished in 27:28. It was a great race and hopefully, we can do it again next year.

After the race was done, the three of us grabbed some lunch at Mongo’s Grill in St. Cloud and then Al and I had some errands to run. We had a few things to get at the mall and I forgot my extra clothes to change into, so I got to walk around the mall in my running gear, which included these crazy pants, which are SO comfortable and I love them. Yes, even though they are a bit bright! OMG! I have never, EVER in my life received so many strange looks and stares from people. The hubster, who was always dressed in his running gear, which include running tights with a pair of shorts over them and a very bright, neon green shirt, also received LOTS of looks. There were even a few people who glared/gave dirty looks. It was comical. Seriously, I kind of wanted to keep walking around just to watch peoples’ reaction to how we were dressed. It was entertaining, yet kind of pathetic.

FOOD FINDS!

The other day, my husband made chicken burgers (pictured later) and we really wanted some fries to go with them. My husband found these in the grocery store and thought we would give them a whirl. (Yes, I know we could have just made our own, but we didn’t feel like it!). For my Weight Watchers friends out there, these are definitely worth it. You can have 21 fries for only 4 PointsPlus Values. And they are nice-sized fries. Not little ones. They were fantastic and we will definitely have these again.

OMG! These are by far the BEST “healthy puffs” I have ever had. I have tried the baked Cheetos brand and other brands, but I will never buy anything else but these. Seriously, they had the BEST flavor. They actually tasted like real puffs only better. I am not kidding. Best part? You can have 52 of these things for only 4 PointsPlus Values. These will now be a staple in our house. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE them! They are made by Green Giant, check out the link here.

My husband had bought some very lean ground chicken. If I remember right, I think he said it was actually 100 percent fat-free. Anyway, we thought he should try something different with them and make actual burgers. He took the chicken and mixed it with half an egg, a crushed up bag of Weight Watchers Cheddar Twists, a little BBQ sauce, a little liquid smoke, salt, pepper and some Lowry’s seasoning. Each burger was only 3 PointsPlus Values. And the BEST part? They tasted fantastic. They were NOT dry. They were juicy and full of flavor. We will definitely make these again.

I know I have talked about my smoothie pancakes before, but if you haven’t tried them yet, give them a try. I started adding 2 tablespoons of PB2, which is a powdered peanut butter to the mix. It not only adds additional protein, it adds flavor. I use 3/4 cup of the liquid egg whites, mix in one Weight Watchers smoothie packet (you can use any flavor you want) and then the PB2. Beat together and then cook in a pan sprayed with cooking spray until they are done. I don’t time anything, so I can’t tell you long. The pancake is a total of 4 PointsPlus Values – 2 for the smoothie mix, 1 for the 3/4 cup of egg whites and 1 for the PB2. I don’t put anything on mine, but a lot of times, I eat it with a banana. VERY FILLING!

These are necessarily a new food find, but lately, I have been obsessed with blackberries. I am not sure this is even the season for them, but OMG! they have been so good lately. I eat at least one container a day. They are so tasty, juicy, sweet, kind of crunchy. Just YUM!

MISC PICS

I just have to include a pic of my new iPhone 5C case I designed at MyCustomCase.com. I know it is “just a case,” but I am probably the most picky person when it comes to phone cases – just ask my husband! Anyway, I found the website somehow and I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE my new case. There are literally hundreds of cases to choose from and then you can pick the color and “write” whatever you want on it. Some have just monogrammed letters, others, like mine have words that can run along the bottom or along the side. Seriously, check them out. They have cases for all kinds of phones. It is definitely worth your time!

And lastly, I have to include a picture – or two or three or four – of my son, Brandon, and his absolutely stunningly beautiful girlfriend, Kenzie. They attended her junior prom. Aren’t they both just adorable. I am so happy for them!

As always, remember, you can find me on Facebook here or here and you can also find me on Instagram, here. If you want, you can also send me an email to confessionsofaformerfatgirl at gmail dot com (confessionsofaformerfatgirl@gmail.com).

Lots to talk about! (Meaning, it’s a LONG post!)

Warning: This post is going to be filled with LOTS of pictures!

First things first…I RAN!

It was slow, but I didn’t even care. IT. WAS. AWESOME!

This was my first run since January 28 – nearly one month ago! Because we have been having such stupid weather (bitterly cold temps, snow and lots of wind), I opted to run on the dreadmill (yes, this is what I call it!) at the YMCA and on the track. I ran two miles on the ‘mill and one mile around the track. Even though it was slow, it felt amazingly awesome to be able to run again. I haven’t been running because of my neck issue and because I have been sick. By the way, after two rounds of antibiotics (zithromax and augmentin) and one round of prednisone, along with heavy duty cough meds, I am almost back to feeling 100 percent normal. Well, as normal as I can be, that is! :-)

With our first half-marathon of the year coming up on May 10, I think it is high-time I start training! Yes, I am going to take it easy, but my physical therapist indicated it would be okay if I started running. After the injection I had and the physical therapy I’ve been doing, my arm pain is nearly gone. Yes, there is still some pain, every now and then, but it is not nearly as bad as it was. I can actually sleep on my right side – for awhile anyway!

The physical therapy is going well. I am doing traction on my neck with a machine. I have one more session left and then I get to do it at home with an over-the-door contraption. That should be interesting!

I have a check-up with my doctor in early April. I think he’ll be happy with how things are going. Although, I will admit, he may not be real happy with how much I’ve been wearing the neck brace. For some reason, it makes me feel really nauseous. I am going to make an effort to wear it more. In fact, I am wearing right it now as I type this blog! Yeah, me!

BACK ON TRACK – with my weight and eating!

This winter, I have been struggling as far as my weight and my eating habits are concerned. I gained about eight pounds and my eating was out of control. Something finally snapped a couple of weeks ago and I feel like I am finally back on track. I lost most of the weight I gained and am now back to feeling like I am in control. My weight is now hovering around the 142 mark and I am happy with that…for now. I would like it to be closer to between 138 and 140, which is doable, especially now that I am back to working out – running and biking. I am also back to logging my food again, as in tracking using the Weight Watchers PointsPlus system. As many of you know, I lost my weight (about 55 pounds) with Weight Watchers and now work full-time for the company. In fact, I just celebrated my four-year anniversary of working for Weight Watchers on Valentine’s Day.

Speaking of Valentine’s Day, check out the present I got from my husband.

Isn’t he the sweetest. Flowers AND fruit! I LOVED IT! I am so VERY thankful he is supportive of me and my healthy living journey. Actually, I should say OUR healthy living journey. We are both trying to live a healthier style and I am so grateful for that.

I am also extremely grateful – actually, I can’t really put into words how appreciative I am – that my husband does 99.9 percent of the cooking and 99.9 percent of the grocery shopping. I am beyond blessed that he loves to cook AND grocery shop. AND, he likes to cook healthy meals. He loves to research recipes online and then he will tweak them so they are even healthier. Here’s a small teeny-tiny glimpse into some of the food we have had over the course of the past few weeks:

Turkey breast marinated in an orange-spiced brandy sauce and roasted Brussels sprouts with balsamic and a little bit of asiago cheese. (7 PointsPlus Values)

Chicken enchiladas with green chile sauce and queso fresco cheese. (13 PointsPlus Values for two of them.)

Stuffed bell peppers made with ground turkey. That is not marshmallows on top, it is queso fresco cheese! (9 PointsPlus Values for three of them!)

This is a grilled pizza with whole-wheat crust (Al made this from scratch) with fresh tomato pizza sauce (Al makes this), shredded chicken breast with garlic and fresh basil, diced tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, toasted pine nuts and kale. (11 PointsPlus Values for two pieces.)

This is a grilled pizza (again with homemade whole-wheat crust) with garlic-infused olive oil as the base and then diced tomatoes, fresh basil, artichokes, kalamata olives, fat-free feta cheese and a little shredded asiago cheese. (9 PointsPlus Values for two pieces.)

I ACTUALLY COOKED THIS! It is chicken breast dipped in egg and then rolled in crushed up Weight Watchers Cheddar Twists. The side was roasted sweet potatoes. (10 PointsPlus values for the whole meal.)

Al and I made this meal together. It was lobster mac and cheese with roasted asparagus drizzled with balsamic vinegar and a little bit of asiago cheese. (13 PointsPlus Values per serving for the lobster mac and cheese.) See recipe below.

Here is a comparison of PointsPlus Values for the recipe we used for the lobster and mac and cheese and a couple of other recipes. It’s amazing how different they can be! And I will tell you that the recipe we used was beyond delicious. The lobster mac and cheese was creamy, cheesy, decadent, rich and seriously GOOD!

RUNNING RACES

So, Al and I spent last weekend signing up for races. Here is a list of what we have on the agenda so far for this year:

March 8 – 100% Irish for a Day 5K

March 15 – Get Lucky 7K

April 18 – Earth Day 5K

April 26 – Get in Gear 10K

May 10 – Fargo Half-Marathon

June 7 – Lake Region Half-Marathon Relay

June 21 – Color Vibe 5K (this is just me as I am walking this with my sister, niece, nephew, niece-in-law and several others)

August 2 – Dirty Girl Mud Run 5K obstacle course – (I am doing this with a bunch of my friends. We did it last year for the first time and had so much fun, we decided to do it again. Our group is called the Dirty Girl Boob Troupe.)

August 30 – Women Rock 10K (Again, this is just me as this is an all-women race.)

September 6 – Graniteman 10K

We have several others we are thinking about, but these are just the ones we have already signed up for.

TWO LAST PICTURES

I will leave you with two more pics – one of the gorgeous sun dogs that were out Friday, February 21 and a pic of the hubster and I on Valentine’s Day. ENJOY!

Remember, you can always find me on Facebook here and here, and also, you can follow me on Instagram here.

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!