Sunday, October 25, 2015

2015 Soaring Wings Half Marathon

It's been a year, but I'm finally back! Yesterday I walked in my 7th half. It was the 3rd time I've done the Soaring Wings and it was the last half I did.  It's been such a long, difficult road from then to now.

After my last half, I had such big plans. I was going to rack up a total of 13 half marathons before my 40th birthday. But things just fell apart. I canceled our trip that would let me do the New Years Double, which made it impossible to hit 13.  Even then, I decided instead to do virtual races. One a month unless I had a "real" race. I did one in January. So I guess technically this was my 8th, but I have a hard time counting that one because my time was horrid and it just wasn't the same as a "real" race.

In February, I discovered my diabetes was out of control and that was making me feel just awful. Constant fatigue. I could barely get out of bed to go to work, let alone walk a half marathon. It took months for me to get that under control.  When I was put on insulin, I was terrified of walking long distances.  Would my blood sugar drop unexpectedly in the middle of a walk?  It took me a while to get used to it all and convince myself that I'd be OK.

And then my Dad died.  I had always expected that to be a huge explosion in my life.  A sudden black hole.  But it wasn't like that.  It was slower, and it took me a while to see how the grief was dragging me down. I've struggled with depression more than I have in a while. I started walking again to have time by myself. I didn't want my kids to see how much I was hurting. Walking honestly became my sanity.  It was months before I could take a walk and not cry.  I still do from time to time. But walking became my therapy. I need to do it as much for my head as my body.  Maybe more.

By July, I had gotten over my fear of passing out by myself on the trails and I did a 5k with my sister.  I remembered how much I love races, so I started thinking about signing up for the half-marathon.  I gradually increased my mileage until I was certain I could keep my blood sugar controlled for 13.1 miles.  And I registered.

It's been a very dry summer here.  Our swamp behind the house has been so dry that we actually walked to the end of our property for the first time.  It was bizarre, but that's another story.  But, of course, you know what that means....

Rain!  My first half-marathon in a year and it's forecasted to rain all day long.  It's hard to really complain when we desperately need the rain, but I really wasn't looking forward to it.

I didn't have much of a goal for the race, other than to finish.  I've been incredibly slow this summer, barely able to break a 18 minute mile.  Since they added a full marathon this year, I really didn't have a time limit, but I didn't want a 4 hour half-marathon.  I honestly thought that was what I was looking at.  My longest time to date was 3:45 (my first Soaring Wings in 2013).  If I had a goal at all, I wanted to beat that.


The rain wasn't too bad, really.  Drizzle now and then, but never a downpour.  Enough for my socks to get wet, though.  I've always had a problem with blisters every time I've done this race, even if I never get a blister once during training, I end up with crazy blisters at the race.  Around mile 9, I could tell my socks were wet and had some hot spots coming up on the ball of my right foot and I resigned myself to having torn up feet.  What else could I do?

I was pretty impressed with my pace the first few miles, and worked really hard at trying to keep that pace the whole time.  For some bizarre reason, I had 16:23 stuck in my head as my pace for my last PR, and I was going 16:00-16:10.  I was so excited.  What are the chances I could PR my first race back?

None... I don't know where 16:23 came from, but my pace was under 16:00 for my PR race.  That's OK though, because it kept me going, kept me pushing to keep up the pace I was at.

My official time was 3:36.  Not a PR, obviously, but still no where near my worst. I am impressed, really. I had all but given up on racing and I had a very good race. That really means so much to me.  I feel very fortunate to be able to do this and I don't want to ever take it for granted.

After I crossed the finish, I grabbed some pizza and water and found a curb to sit on.  I couldn't eat the pizza.  I seem to have a very hard time making myself eat after a race, even though I need to.  As I was trying to eat, I looked down at my feet and notice a red stain on the side of my shoe. (My shoes are SO PURPLE. I'm not really a purple kind of girl.  Selection is limited when you have huge feet, though) I thought back through all the stations along the race, and didn't recall any having red Gatorade.  So what was that stain?



What on earth?

I went to the first aid tent before I took my shoe off, just in case.  My pinky toe was all bloody, but with all the blood, I couldn't really determine why.  I got a bandaid so I could at least get my shoe back on to walk to the van where I had dry socks.  I drove home shoeless.  It turned out to be a small blister on my pinky toe. I guess the rain made it look a lot worse than it probably was.  It was also the only blister I had. I was so sure my right foot was going to be so bad.  But nothing.  Except the dramatic bloody blister on my pinky toe, of course.

I don't have any pictures of me for this race.  I'll be honest.... I've gained about 30 lbs this year and I am not comfortable with that AT ALL.  I hate pictures right now. I have seen the race pictures, and saved a screen shot of one that I want to compare my next race to.  I am not sure exactly when my next race is, but I want to have lost some of that by then.

I am planning on doing a 10K/Half-marathon combo in March (10K one day, Half the next) for the Little Rock Marathon.  The past 2 years, I have signed up for the CASA half marathon in December, but have yet to actually do the race.  I'm torn between actually doing it this year, or just admitting that that isn't a good time of year for me and waiting until March.  Bill and I are discussing a "destination" race in April (it's not THAT far away, just a bit too far to not stay overnight), and I want to do RussVegas again because that's been my favorite to date. 

I'm finding my way back to "normal" and I'm so glad. 

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Enough's enough

Last night, as I sat on my bed alternating between being irate and self-loathing with my heart pounding and feeling the pressure flowing in my veins, I decided that maybe Adipex isn't going to work for me. In fact, I was pretty sure in that moment that it could very well kill me, either having a stroke or hurting myself.

I searched online today to see if Adipex has a reputation for drastic mood issues, and it does. It's called "phen rage" and some people even reported permanent changes in their moods after taking it for a while and then stopping.  I saw comments in forums where people basically said,  "yeah, I'm pretty screwed in the head, but I've lost 40 lbs!" and "I'm borderline physically violent, but look at these jeans I can wear now! "

Sorry. If this is my only hope, and it's not, I'll stay fat. The past few days have been awful. I can tell my blood pressure is down today already, but it will probably take me a while to get my head back in a good place. I've slept most of the day just to avoid coping with it.  There is no benefit to losing weight, not even getting off insulin, that is worth this. I hate to say it doc, but bad call, buddy. 

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Week 1

Starting weight (per doctor's scale): 266
Week 1 weight (per office scale): 259

Saturday - 8 mile walk
Monday - 3 mile walk at home video
Tuesday - 2 mile walk at home video

7 lbs in a week is pretty remarkable, even taking into consideration that I'm using 2 different scales and that might be off by a couple of pounds.  I'm not anticipating 7 lbs a week all the time.  I hope I don't.  This might sound silly, but it does weird things to your head.  Like, you'd think I would be like SEVEN POUNDS!!!!  But it's really like, oh.... just 7?  That's messed up and I know it.  I can't deny it, though.

As for side effects, the "on speed" feeling only lasted a few days.  It does raise my blood pressure, particularly in the early afternoon.  The doctor knew it would and told me to just make sure it wasn't getting too high.  The first few days, it wasn't just that my appetite was suppressed, but I was repulsed by food.  That's gotten better, though.  I can tell it suppresses my appetite and I don't really crave anything. The only real complaint I have is that I've been REALLY cranky and I almost always have a slight nagging headache.  I hate cranky.  I'm hoping that maybe, like the speedy feeling, that I'll adjust to it and my mood will even out, but right now I just feel like I need to be isolated from everyone.  Maybe that's why I can't get all hyped about 7 lbs.  I'm too pissy to be grateful.

I'm trying to be responsible about it and make sure I'm not just relying on the Adipex.  I'm working out and fighting the occasional urge to just eat out of stress/emotions.  Adipex does help take the edge off that, but not entirely with emotional eating for me.  And considering I'm constantly in a foul mood, it's come up more than a couple times.

So, we'll see how Week 2 goes.  I plan on getting more exercise in and I keep telling myself I need to count calories, but I have such a mental block there right now for some reason.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Back to school....

The girls are going to a new school this year. We got them into a charter school (it's like a cross between a public school and a private school) very close to our house and it promises to be a very challenging environment for Olivia and Zoe, and a very supportive one for Isabelle.

We have suspected that Izzy is dyslexic for a while. Her teacher that she had the past 2 years tried unsuccessfully to have her tested by the school. I've been reassured that she will be given every possible help they have at this new school. They don't have her placed for reading help yet, but they did place her for math tutoring. I was kind of shocked because she's good in math.... but there are a lot of word problems on the test. So of course she didn't test well. Poor kid.

It's hard for her to keep her chin up sometimes because she struggles and her sisters don't.  I'm trying to find ways to show her that her talents might not be academic but she's no less talented. The school offers after school clubs, and she showed an interest in ukulele lessons, which tickled me to no end. A quirky little instrument for my quirky child. I signed her up and bought her a ukulele. I think this will be amazing for her. I do think she's got some musical talent, so I'm excited to see where this goes. Hopefully it will be a good boost to her confidence.

Olivia.... if this past week is any indication, she's going to drive me insane this year. I feel like I have to drag her through everything. She's so smart, but so lazy.  I'm hoping something will spark her interest quickly.  From everything I can tell, they have very high expectations of the kids at this school, so she's not going to get to skate by like she has in the past. She even has foreign language this year, all three of them do, actually. Iz and Zoe are both learning Spanish and Olivia has Turkish. You don't see Turkish offered much, so I think that's neat.

It's an adjustment for us all, but hopefully a really good change.  I just hope I can keep my head on straight better than I did last year. I felt like the wheels fell off before the first quarter ended. But, let's be positive and look ahead at a wonderful year, yes?  =)

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Take that!

At my doctor's appointment Tuesday, I had blood drawn for lab work.  Checking my A1C, cholesterol, and other things I have no clue about.  I hate having my blood drawn.  I have this "thing" about straw-sized needles being shoved in my veins.  It's freakish.  I can get tattooed all day long and not flinch, but I'm going to be doing deep breathing exercises over a blood draw.  And don't tell me that doesn't make sense.  If you do, you clearly have never had one or the other done.

But.... my phlebotomist needs a raise.  She was beyond good.  I barely felt the needle go in.  My vein rolled, she tried to get it, couldn't, and pulled out.  No pain, though.  She tried the other arm... barely felt the needle go in at all.  That vein cooperated (I'm assuming I was a bit dehydrated, because I don't usually have problems like that.  Usually they get excited over my big, juicy veins - which grosses me out, too).  Yesterday, I expected some bruising, as is normal, but nothing.  Just a tiny pin prick mark on each arm.  You can't even see that today.  I've never had such an easy blood draw. 

Anyway, I got an email with the results last night and I'm so stinking excited!  My A1C, which is like a snapshot of your blood sugar over about a 3 month window, went from an 11.4 in May (that's really high) to a 6.4 this time!  Under 7 is considered "controlled diabetes".  So, I've definitely got my diabetes under control, and now my goal is to be able to eliminate some of the meds making that possible.  My cholesterol was well within normal range, as well.  It was never high, just borderline, but it's nice to see that has dropped, too.  I had been told, and wasn't sure how credible it was, that cholesterol meds didn't work well for women. Obviously that's BS.

I started the Adipex yesterday, and it makes me feel a little space-y, especially in the morning.  Not too bad, though.  It will be difficult for me to really track my progress since my scale at home seems to just throw up random numbers.  It will give me readings a good 5 lbs different within minutes of the first reading.  I don't know why I keep it.  I might get a new scale one of these days, but I'm just going to go by whether or not I'm afraid of splitting my pants getting in the truck as my measure of progress right now. ;)

Plus, I gotta buy a ukulele this week, I can't be spending money on a scale =)

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Day 1

So.... how's it going?  I've been pretty quiet, I know.  It's been one of those times where I didn't want to write unless I felt really negative and I didn't want to spread that around, so I just haven't had a lot to say.  It's been a tough year and I'm trying....  it doesn't feel like enough sometimes, but I'm still plodding along.

I went to the doctor yesterday, for a follow up on my diabetes.  Things are going well there.  All medicated up, I can keep my numbers normal as long as I'm being sensible with my carbs.  I really would like to lose enough weight to reduce or eliminate some or all of my medications, because my insulin is CRAZY expensive.  However....  all that I've accomplished is packing on 20 pounds the past few months. 

It'so frustrating.

I really and truly believe my meds are a huge factor in that.  I am big on personal responsibility lately and I keep telling myself to be honest and think about how I contributed to that gain, and I really, really don't feel I've eaten enough to justify a gain that big.  I've been walking, I've worked really hard this summer at being active.  I have struggled with my depression this summer and I know I'm not eating to lose, and I realize subconsciously I'm probably eating more than I think, but still... 20 lbs in just a few short months is A LOT.   I haven't been very successful in a while at losing weight, but I had been maintaining in the 240s for a good long while.  266.  I feel like a whale, and I usually have a really decent body image despite being overweight.  But my clothes are starting to not fit.  I can't wear my scrub tops for work, I've resorted to tshirts with the scrub bottoms that are quickly becoming too tight.  My wedding rings won't fit anymore.  It's bad.  I haven't been above 250 in a long time and now I'm seeing 260s and I'm really scared it'll keep going up and up until I'm past my all time high of 292.

My doctor and I were discussing that, and my depression.  I told him I am not willing to go on meds for that right now because of the bad experiences I've had with Zoloft.  I just don't want to risk becoming a danger to myself again.  I'm trying to handle it in my own way, with mediation and gratefulness practice, and it works when I really apply myself.  He didn't feel the need to push me on that issue, which was a relief.  He did want me to start taking melatonin before bed because I'm not sleeping very well.  He started to suggest a prescription for that, but we both agreed that I don't allow myself enough sleep (I generally get 6.5 hours, tops, and can't manage to get to bed any earlier to get more) and I'd end up a zombie on something that strong.  His next suggestion through me for a loop, though.

He asked me how I would feel about taking Adipex for 3 months.

I'm generally a very anti-diet pill kind of girl.  I don't think it's a good long-term solution and that you have to do it the "real way" with diet/exercise/lifestyle changes.  And I told him all that.

He said he wants me to take it to get the ball rolling in the right direction again.  As a push, not a solution.  He thinks, in addition to the sleep, that losing weight right now will help me feel better physically and that will boost me mentally and get me back in the right mind frame to "do it the right way."  He said I should lose anywhere from 15-60 pounds in the 3 months time frame.  I have to lose at least 5 pounds a month to continue on it... it's a controlled substance and they aren't allowed to write refills, so I have to meet  his guidelines to get a new prescription monthly.  He's worried that if I continue to gain weight that we're going to have more and more problems with my diabetes and I think he realizes I'm pretty tapped out financially in that department.  I can't afford to increase my treatment in that area. 

So, I felt like I was eating crow this morning as I took my first Adipex pill, but I'm going to give it a try.  I do kind of feel like a fraud, but there is a big part of me that's like "I could lose so much weight so quickly!" and it is exciting.  I think that's normal, but I'm trying to be reasonable about it.  It's not a miracle drug.  I will have to work to make sure once the 3 months is up that I continue to lose weight and not gain it back.  I'm also worried about what to say when people comment on any weight loss.... I'll feel like a fraud, to be honest.  But we'll see how this goes.  I'll try to keep you posted about my progress. 

Thursday, May 7, 2015


Saturday, I was sitting in my recliner after saying goodbye to Bill as he went to work.  He'd been gone for a few minutes when I heard the kitchen door slowly open and close.  The girls are always in and out, so I thought nothing of it.  But then the girls ran past me towards the kitchen and started squealing in excitement. 

"Mom! Mom!  There's a kitten in the kitchen!"

We don't have a kitten.  I don't know how old Killer is, but she's certainly well past kitten stage (I suspect she's pretty old, in fact).  But, sure enough, my kids were holding a TINY little kitten.

I ran outside, and Bill was still in the driveway.  He said the neighbor kids were walking by, followed by a tiny little kitten.  They asked if we knew anything about her, and said she'd been following them around all day.  They couldn't take her home because their mom was allergic.  So, Bill took the kitten and just put her in the house without a word.

Her name is Mischief Maker.  Killer has her moments with her.  She's been nice to her, and she's growled at her.  Mostly, she's just a grumpy old lady who has no patience for the young whippersnapper, though.  Ollie is in LOVE.  He thinks Mischief is the best thing that has ever happened.  It's so funny, because he's a big dog, and Mischief is so tiny.  She hides from him when he gets too hyper, but she's pretty fearless otherwise and they do play.  When he's crated while we're out of the house, we always come back to see her sitting by the crate.

In other news, I know I didn't even give it half a shot, but I canceled my Weight Watchers.  I went to a meeting and it just didn't feel right.  Plus, I had to not only count points, but I had to also look up carbs for what I was eating, so it was actually more work than counting calories because most calorie counting apps are going to show carbs....  WW doesn't.

And another reason.  Lantus is expensive and I needed to cut some corners.  Lantus.  Blah.  I went to the doctor Monday and am now on insulin. 

It's not THAT bad, I suppose.  Insulin needles are so small that you literally can't feel them and Lantus is a long-acting type of insulin that you only have to take once a day, as opposed to several times with some other types.  I'm really glad about all of that, but it's EXPENSIVE.  $250 a vial, which is all out of pocket for me until my stupidly high deductible has been met (which would be several months even with that expense going on). 

It's not helping yet.  It could take a few weeks to get the proper dosage, which is pretty frustrating.  I'm supposed to increase my dose by 5 units every 5 days until we start seeing normal numbers.  I get so angry when I check my blood sugar and it's still too high.  Especially when I've eaten something like a salad with only 30g of carbs.  If my blood sugar is over 200, I want to have eaten some ice cream or pasta or something to justify it, you know.  Ugh, it makes me so mad.

My nurse, though.... she's just the sweetest person ever.  I explained everything going on in my life the past month and she almost cried.  She said "and you wonder why you can't get your blood sugar down?"  I know stress is making it worse, I KNOW.  But it doesn't make it less frustrating.  We're getting my mom moved this weekend, and I'm hoping.... praying.... that things will settle and I can relax a bit.  I'm sure once we get into our new "normal", school will be out and that will just be another bout of chaos though.  C'est la vie, right?


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