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Oakland Marathon Recap: Wild Joy and a Crash March 28, 2010

I’m lying on my bed. My stomach is in some kind of turmoil. I still don’t feel so good physically. But emotionally I feel great! We did it! *I* did it!

I don’t have energy to do anything but lie here so I’m just gonna do that; lie here and write out my marathon recap. Are ya ready for all the details? (if not, just skip this post!) (AT THIS POINT I STOPPED BLOGGING FOR SEVERAL HOURS)

Picking up the packet and chip at the Marathon Expo was big fun yesterday. It was great to meet up with the other penguins and feel all the buzzy excitement about the event. After the Expo I had about a million errands to run in preparation for my trip to Costa Rica! tomorrow!!! (I honestly can’t even fathom this right now) I came home, had a pasta dinner (carbo loading you know, but with Dreamfields low-glycemic linguine), then tried to go to bed. I was soooooo unsleepy and did not sleep until after midnight. :-(

Woke up at 6:30 by text from another penguin who was already at the starting line. I knew I had a looooong way to go. I was hoping to get down to cheer on my teammates in leg 1 and 2, but there were a lot of road closures going on. I made it to leg 2, and was able to cheer/meet up with/run with my two great pals Mary (Team Penguin) & Lisa Marie (Team Strong Mix). That made me so happy, to be alongside them for a block or two, offer up words of encouragement and love.  

OK then you’ll laugh. I still had a bunch of time before my own leg, so I asked my dear spouse to drive me home for a minute. I wanted to use my own bathroom. There was time. I’m kind of a wimp that way.  Then we headed down to the BART station so I could take the train to my relay start point. At this point it was about 10am and I felt like I’d been up and READY forever.

I got down to the relay point and it was so exciting. I felt great. I spent a bunch of time pacing around to warm up and before I knew it, Penguin #1 (Mary) was leaping out of nowhere to give me a hug, and then Penguin #3 (Michael-David) showed up around the corner and it was time to give him my BART card and get the ankle strap thingie with the chip (or so we thought, more on that later). He strapped  it on my ankle and I just took off. I was so high!

The first part of the run made me so happy. I had run this stretch many times before and I love it. A bunch of folks were out in lawn chairs, cheering us on and saying encouraging stuff. I felt fabulous. But after the first mile I got a little surprised because the route changed on me. We ran straight past the point where I usually turn off. This made me kind of nervous and concerned because suddenly I had NO IDEA where we were going, it was all unfamiliar, and worst, there were hardly ANY spectators/cheering people on this part. It just felt lonely and confusing.

Luckily, that only lasted a mile or so and I was back on familiar turf. At around mile 22 (aka MY mile 3, since I started at 19) I was feeling great. And I should remind myself that that was the length (almost) of my regular 5k. I felt so happy. We came into sight of the lake. The lake was full of even MORE people and I did good up until right past mile 23. Then I started feeling kind of sick to my stomach (I should’ve known, first sign of dehydration!). I had a few gulps of water at the water station but didn’t want too much because I was worried I’d throw up.

I thought, maybe this is the time for some Gu. I ripped open the vanilla Gu. OMG. I have not had anything that intensely sweet in… over a year. (it’s like sucking down cake frosting from a tube) I was like, oh NOOOOO I need water! I need it bad! But the water station was what felt like a lonng way away. I could not deal with this thick frosting feeling in my mouth. But I felt like I needed it.

Got to a water station around mile 24. Gulped a big cup of water. Started praying I’d feel better. I didn’t. Then my hands started tingling and actually going numb. OK, I started freaking. And started walking. I knew I had 2 miles left and I didn’t want to be coming in on a stretcher. So I powerwalked about 5 minutes and when I started feeling a bit better, I took a run, starting around 25. But I never felt super great after that point. I kept trying to gauge it. I wanted to have a strong finish for SURE, so I was trying to ration my energy.

At about a mile from the finish, I saw Penguin 1 (Kathy) who had been searching for me all over the lake!! (great runner, good Catholic, she was trying to attend a MASS in between her leg and mine!) This was the last uphill. I said to her, y’know, I’m not doing so hot. I ran a bit then said I have to walk. Then Penguin 2 (Mary) popped up! And finally Penguin 3! They were bringing me in!!!! This would’ve made me so emotional but at that point I realized I was having trouble breathing. My lungs were just seizing up, I was wheezing and I got a little panicky. Luckily (and miraculously?) Mary HAPPENED to have an inhaler in her pocket! so I used that. But I was feeling not so hot. So much for my strong finish. Then we rounded the bend and I knew it was like 3 blocks away. I gathered up all the adrenaline inside and sprinted in to the Finish. Then kinda collapsed.

One of the volunteer dudes gave us some bad news right after the finish. He told us that what we THOUGHT had been the race timing chip was actually the receipt, or the “other” part of the band. Which was INCREDIBLY irritating, since we had asked a race volunteer at the Expo to attach the chip to the ankle strap because we were SO worried about getting it wrong somehow. But voila, SHE got it wrong, and as a result, we had no split times. Which was really maddening, and not cool. Boo on race volunteers who Don’t Know What They’re Doing.

We blasted through the little post-race chute, got our medals (YAY), got our photos taken (YAY). I was like, I’m feeling kinda bad. I’m feeling kinda shaky. I had some PowerAde and a section of an orange, but I still did not feel so hot. I managed to get excited for the photo opps because yeah it felt so great to FINISH the thing, but I was aware underneath it all that I really, really wanted to get home, and like ASAP.

Michael-David had a sausage sandwich that looked really good at first but every time he offered me a bite my stomach got really alarmed. Part of me was like, “I need PROTEIN!” but then I couldn’t face it. So we went home.

Over the course of the next five hours, I just felt worse. And worse. And worse. And I wasn’t eating or drinking because I felt incredibly nauseated, my stomach was in absolute turmoil. I had started writing this recap but after about the first few paragraphs I couldn’t even do that. I tried to sleep. But I was in pain, and feeling shaky and cold and crazy.

FINALLY after many hours of this my husband brought me some chicken soup and said I had to try to eat it, that the salt would help restore me. I choked a bit down and actually it did help me feel better, a lot better. I went into the bathroom and weighed myself and saw that I had lost 5 lbs since that morning. I knew then that my problem really was all about dehydration.

I felt really stupid. I felt like I had not taken good care of myself or prepared well. I ate my breakfast (whole wheat Eng muffin with peanut butter, and coffee, yeah duh) at 7am. And then had nothing to eat or drink until that Gu at mile 23. In retrospect, yeah, that was super poor planning on my part. But every time I’d approached any station, I was like, “I don’t want to have to stop and pee!” or “I’m not hungry,” or whatever, so I kept passing it all up. Until it was too late.

I don’t know what was up with the asthma except that the allergies are super bad around here and I think with all the other stress, my lungs just freaked out. THAT was scary.

SO now it’s 8pm, I am just now starting to feel like maybe I’ll live. My blood glucose is 172. Which sucks.  I feel chagrined and embarrassed. I’m sad that I didn’t prepare well and thus did not have the great experience I wanted (all the way through). I’m mad that it’s 8pm and I have to leave for Costa Rica in 12 hours and I am NOT READY!

But on the other hand, it was a beautiful experience. I loved the community, the being out in my great city, the energy. I loved that I had zero orthopedic problems the whole time (foot/leg/hip/back). I loved a lot about it. But I’m just feeling sorta humbled now, and really tired. I’m really glad I did it, and so happy I finished, and I do feel proud.  Thanks everyone, for the fantastic support all along the way.

 

Team Penguin is Ready March 27, 2010

Words cannot even describe how excited I am. No matter what happens tomorrow, I think it’s gonna be a beautiful day.

 

Time Squeeze March 22, 2010

Well, I’m in one of those places where I have so much to blog about but not enough time. This upcoming week is going to be CRAZY. I’m finishing up one of my classes which means I have mega papers to read and grade; I’m doing my final week of training before the MARATHON; I’m squeezing in a ton of work because next week (the day after the marathon!) I am taking off for Costa Rica (this does not even seem REAL to me) to help my BFF celebrate her 50th Bday. (one great thing about turning such a nice round age is that your friends all have these great celebrations!)

But there is so much on my mind. These are the things I would love to blog about when I catch a minute sometime.

  1. I’ve just recently had several spontaneous Twitter conversations about people who want to know how to deal with good friends who are very overweight or unfit. I have soooooo many thoughts on this. My short two cents on it: “Love ‘em and leave ‘em alone.” But it’s a lot more complicated than that, and I want to write about it.
  2. My aspirations for Fitbloggin‘ 2011 and how sad I am to have missed all the fun at 2010 last weekend.
  3. Why running is not like riding a bicycle. Even though I cannot ride a bicycle.
  4. How I got a little lackadaisical with the diabetes monitoring and then woke up. Again.
  5. “Feeling fat.” That’s gonna be a big one. It was inspired by reading this.
  6. And also inspired by a recent incident of TERRIBLE vanity-sizing in which I tried on a size 12 garment that I bought in 1982, and it WOULD NOT BUTTON.
  7. Geneen Roth’s hot new book, Women Food & God and how I think its message is more aligned with Weight Watchers than a lot of people seem to believe.

As always, I will take votes for which ones to tackle first! When I have a minute. Maybe on an airplane. Wait, are they going to have Wi-Fi in Costa Rica? Uh oh.

 

Coming Out of the Woods March 17, 2010

I am finally feeling like I’m coming out of the woods. That were indeed dark, scary, and lost-feeling.

I’m super busy this week (OK, when am I NOT super busy? LOL) so can’t write in huge detail but things are going much better.

I think the emotional turmoil MAY be winding down. (cross fingers!)

I’ve had some very good workouts this week: my 7.5 mile run, then a 5k (3.2 mile) run, and a whup-ass trainer workout today that involved sliding around strenuously on some cardboard box tops. Very high tech, that guy. :-)

I’m feeling confident that the marathon relay in less than two weeks is going to be DO-ABLE, and even a lot of FUN. Yay.

I think my solo performance show is going to also be good. I am excited about it. Did you know tickets are on sale? I hope to see some of your friendly faces there.

I’m way way way way way wayyyyyyyyyy too busy and overextended, but I’m happy with all of it.

OH and I had a lovely 4 point lunch just now: a spicy black bean burger (2 pt) on a multigrain sandwich thin (1 pt) topped with a dab of hummus (YUM, 1 pt). Very satifying and filling.

So, thanks everyone for the massive support and encouragement these past weeks. It’s been rough. It’s been tough. But I think we’re coming out of those woods.

 

Emotional Eating in Slow-Mo March 14, 2010

Filed under: emotions,food,Mindful Eating,overeating — Susan @ 6:51 pm

I had an Incident yesterday. I didn’t want to write about it, but my dear friend Shannon urged me to go ahead and blog it because it would help other people somehow. Okaaaaay. Deep breath.

So this is what happened. I really feel like it was one of those slow-motion train wrecks, you know? Where it slows way way way down but still it doesn’t stop. I had so many opportunities to stop it. But I didn’t.

I was in a grocery store. I got a phone call that upset me. It made me really sad. Like deep sad. And I just didn’t want to feel that way. I grabbed a package of shortbread cookies. I actually examined it and determined that each cookie is 100 calories. So, I figured, the whole box would be 800. Wow. I mean wow. I just tucked that little tidbit of information away.

I put the box in the cart and at the last minute, I ALMOST stashed it in the magazine rack before paying. That was out #1. Didn’t take it. Then I thought, I can put it in the trunk with the rest of the groceries. Nope, I took it out of the bag and sat it beside me on the passenger seat of the car. Out #2. THEN I actually sat for a minute and thought, I can Tweet someone. I can call someone. I can DM someone.  Someone will talk me down.

Then I realized, that I did not want anyone to talk me down. I wanted the cookies. Did I really believe that they would make me feel better? Less sad? I don’t know. Not really. But there was something ELSE that believed that it would help, and in that moment, just a teeny bit of pleasure for five minutes felt like it would be a little relief from the overwhelming sadness.

I didn’t call anyone. I ate the cookies. It took about five minutes, yup. They were sort of delicious but also laced with sadness and a feeling of WOW am I really in this place?

When they were gone, I took stock. It was actually a weird kind of experiment. I felt like part of me was standing over myself with a white lab coat and a clipboard, saying, “Well? Do you feel better now?”

You all know the answer to that. No, I did not feel better. All the sad feelings rushed back in. PLUS I had just eaten 800 calories of cookies. But I also did not feel the familiar self loathing of binges past. I just felt a weary kind of disappointment. Because I had pretty much been conscious through the whole episode. It wasn’t like I woke up with crumbs on my pillow. I knew what I was doing. I think I just wanted to SEE, you know? I wanted to see if it actually would help.

I think I can refer back to this post if I feel that temptation again. A reminder. It actually doesn’t help.

(in other, better news, I did my longest run (7.5 miles!) ever this morning and my Runkeeper said I burned – guess what? 800 calories.)

:-)

 

What’s Clutter Got to do with Fitness/Weight Loss? March 11, 2010

A lot, in my opinion. See my guest post on this topic over at MizFitOnline!!

An excerpt:

It took me a very long while for my healthy bodily habits to become ingrained and “automatic.” And I am suspecting it will take an equally long while (if not longer) to become an “automatically” organized person. If ever.

Here are a few things I’ve observed that are true in both cases.

Procrastination is the devil.

How many times did I used to say, “I’ll go to the Farmers’ Market… later,” or “I’ll go to the gym… later,” or whatever? And “later” stretched into never. I realize that I am the same way about picking up random crap in my house.

I always tell myself, “I’ll do it LATER.” But later, the pile always grows, it always gets bigger, stuff gets lost more easily, and it’s just a hundred times more awful and messy to deal with it later. Same with being overweight. The longer you wait, the more there is to deal with.

Read more here.

 

Back on Track


Sunrise on the train tracks

Originally uploaded by Kathy~

Well, it seems as though the worst has passed (knock knock knock on wood) and I can begin to re-focus a bit. Thanks to EVERYone who sent me/us support and encouragement. It’s been stressful and I don’t think it’s over by a long shot, but I do think I can regroup some.

Yesterday I did the first real workout in a week. It felt good. I realized that it actually felt good to do weight training (as opposed to cardio/running). It seemed to help me feel grounded somehow, grounded in my body. That was kind of interesting. Today I am going to do some more intensive cardio, on the megaflights of stairs at the cemetery (with my trainer).

Last night I led a WW meeting and my supervisor showed up. He asked me, “How’s your weight?” GULP. Um. I dunno. We are supposed to record (in the system) our weights by the 10th of each month (which is today). I was like, I can’t face this. He told me to weigh myself on each of the four scales in the center (what kind of hell is that?). Which is supposed to desensitize one from freaking out at a number. He was extremely calm and nonjudgmental and just, “Okay.”

It was a pretty eye-popping number for me. I was like, OKAY! The pity party is officially OVER. I’m no longer in Maintenance mode. I’m squarely back into LOSE mode.

Which, I have to say, is not a bad thing.

This morning I cracked open my fresh new Three-Month tracker.

Who’s with me?

 

Cross Your Fingers March 9, 2010

Filed under: emotions — Susan @ 10:40 pm
Tags: , , , ,

The sun may be breaking through. A little bit. Maybe. I hope.

 

Cinderblocks on my Feet March 8, 2010


Cinderblocks

Originally uploaded by mikemol

There’s something about sadness that just saps all energy. It’s hard to believe that a week ago I was running over six miles. This weekend it was all I could do to put one foot in front of the other. Yesterday my husband texted me and invited me for a walk in my favorite park. I told him we’d have to drive there and park in the parking lot because I didn’t think I could manage the hill from our house to the park.

We got there and had a pretty nice walk. But I was tired. I was so tired. Not out of breath, but just ….. I don’t know, weary.

A series of unrelated but strong events have hit our household in recent days/weeks. There’s a lot of emotion, sadness, worry, grief, anger, and it is swirling around everything.

On a good note, I am managing not to eat everything in sight. On a bad note, when I walk I feel like I have cinderblocks on my feet.

 

It’s A Test. A Big Test. March 2, 2010

Filed under: emotions,food,overeating — Susan @ 11:50 am
Tags: , , ,

I feel like I’m in the midst of a major test right now. Stress raining down like bowling balls, and the test is: will I turn to food? Will I be able to wriggle out of this one without gaining significant amounts of weight? I feel like I’m in the SATs, the MCATs and the LSATs all rolled into one. Please cross your fingers for me that I am Prepared enough to get through this.

Thank you.

Edited to add:

Well, if it was a pass-fail test, I think I passed. If it was a letter grade, I’d give myself a B-. Maybe a C+. I managed to get through the hardest day because I was being super-mindful in the midst of my stress. I kept telling myself, “Food won’t fix it.” I kept reminding myself how much WORSE I would feel if I ended up binging out on some food, and that it would, in fact, ADD to my stress.

The problem with such reasoning, of course, is that often in the midst of an emotional crisis, one just plain doesn’t care. (I was there a ways back, for a little bit) Who cares if I gain weight? Who cares if I feel worse later? I WANT THIS NOW. Sigh.

Anyway, I did manage to get through the worst of it pretty well. It felt good then to exercise the next day (yesterday). I thought I had gotten through it. But then what? I let my guard down. I thought it was “over.” Then, another sneaky, different stress came and attacked me. I was Unprepared. I slipped into I Don’t Care mode. I was just tired.

I was emotionally in a bad place. I had about 15 minutes to get something to eat before teaching (not WW) class. I went to Quiznos. I just got whatever I wanted, without regard to anything. Just looked it up. 1030 calorie sandwich. NICE. Then I had a couple of madeleine cookies from Starbucks.

So it wasn’t, like, a complete and total disaster. In fact, this is something I would have considered reasonably “healthy” a year ago. But it is not the choice I’d make if I was on target.

I think the mistake I made was thinking I’d somehow “made it through.” I got distracted by the fact that I’d had a good workout. But I wasn’t “out of the woods” yet. I was still feeling kinda funky, then I was sideswiped by something I wasn’t totally expecting.

The moral of this story: stay awake.

What else could I have done last night? I don’t know. I could’ve talked myself down somehow, probably. I could’ve gone to CPK and gotten that asparagus soup.

Back in the saddle.

 

 
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