Tag Archives: healthy lifestyle

Throwback Thursday – My First Half Marathon

I had run a 10K back in 10/2013, and it was then I decided I would start training for a half marathon.  I was aiming for the Lake Sammamish Half for March, but after a little discussion with The Motivator, we decided my first half should be Rock ‘N’ Roll Seattle, 6/21/2014.

A month before RNR Seattle, we ran RNR Portland, with me running the 10K and James the half.  I remember during that race watching all the people make the turnoff to continue on with the half and thinking, “Oh how the hell am I going to pull this off in Seattle.  I’m already knackered.  I can’t imagine running another 6 miles.”

Pre-Seattle race, I remember being a basket case.  The nerves were out of this world.  And the RNR events are huge, so the amount of people that were there freaked me out as well.  But everyone else looked so calm.  Thankfully James stayed with me for as long as he could so I wouldn’t bail (lol, kidding).

It probably took me about 5 miles in before I relaxed.

The course was gorgeous (and super hilly), and I felt privileged to be able to run in areas I wouldn’t normally get to see.  Back then I didn’t carry my phone with me, just my iPod for music.  So, no pictures.  I made a mental note to carry a camera with me on the next race.  This was before blogging, so that didn’t happen.  There are a lot of races I missed out on taking pictures, and I’ve seen some amazing sights.  It’s also one of the reasons why I’m running the 50 states… for the sights.  Everyone else chases PRs… I’m there for aesthetics, lol.

And I’ll never forget the feeling of accomplishment I had when I finally crossed the finish line.  There is nothing that compares to it.  It’s why I’m addicted to racing… and, oh yeah, the bling.

I have since run 10 more half marathons and am now training for my first full.  I can imagine the above feelings are going to be escalated out of the stratosphere.

  “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” – Philippians 4:13

Thanks to a Teacher, I Learned from a Child

The long-awaited last day of school has finally arrived.

AJ excelled in the 6th grade, and while he did well grade-wise, I mean more that he excelled as a person and grew quite a bit emotionally, and I believe his teachers played a huge part in that.

All of his teachers were amazing and deserve gratitude and thanks; however, one teacher stands out in particular. This particular teacher helped AJ develop his love for history.  And adventure. And the ancient aliens who may or may not have built the pyramids (more on that later… ).

The last essay AJ wrote for this teacher was about “Grit.”  This was not a required assignment.  But from what I understand, quite a few students completed it, including AJ.  Their reward?  A hat that says “Grit.”  Just one more way to get the kids to think and to write.  On their own.  Without any pressure of a grade or a deadline.  “Learn to love learning;” one of the first steps to school success, in my opinion.

Thank you, Mr. Larson, for inspiring my child to be the best that he could possibly be.  You have made a tremendous impact on AJ’s learning, and for that, we are extremely grateful.  He wears that hat with pride.

And for all the other teachers out there who inspire our kids, thank you so much for what you do. May you all have a happy and relaxing summer holiday!  You’ve certainly earned it!

In case you’re curious about what my kid wrote… here ya go:

What is grit? Grit could mean sand, or it could mean that you never give up and keep trying. Determined, brave, toughness–all of these things could mean grit, but there are a lot more words that can mean grit.

I would like to tell you a story of a man named James Edward Howard. He is my great-great grandfather that fought in World War 1. He was born in Ipswich, Suffolk, UK, on the 4th of April 1890. During the war, he transferred to the Royal Engineers from the Suffolk Regiment. He died June 1st, 1929. He was at the battle of Ypres when he got badly gassed. After the war was done, he suffered very poor health due to the mustard gas. His last few years, he was in and out of the hospital as he developed Tuberculosis which was his cause of death. He survived for 15 years after the war and after being gassed. This man had a lot of grit to be ill and survive for that long. That is why I wanted to share this story with you.

I used grit last year. I came through a tough time when my grandma and uncle died within a few months of each other. The thing is I didn’t get sorry for myself or get sad, I just accepted the way things happened. My cat also died 2 months after my grandma died. He had been around me my whole life but I kept fighting and never got sad or anything, and that is how I used grit.

That wraps up my whole grit essay. I hoped you learned a little more about me. Always remember to never give up, there is always hope.

Thanks to a teacher, today I learned from a child.  I learned “… there is always hope.”

17 Years

2000

Today is mine and 50 in 50 Marathon Quest’s 17th wedding anniversary, so in honor of this special day, I found some great words of advice for anyone who may be interested in having a loving, long-lasting relationship:

To keep your marriage brimming

With love in the loving cup,

Whenever you’re wrong — admit it, 

Whenever you’re right — shut up.

2017

Happy Anniversary James!

Hypoglycemia and The Whole 30

I’ve suffered from hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) my entire life.  I was 6 when I had my first hypoglycemic episode that I can actually remember.  I was at the mall with my mother when all of a sudden, I didn’t have the energy to walk any more.  My mother knew what was happening and we immediately went to a restaurant for a burger.

I have had many episodes throughout my life.  When it happens, I start feeling anxious, then weak and dizzy, then I break out in a sweat and I develop tunnel vision.  When I was pregnant, I had gestational diabetes.  I was closely monitored by my doctors and had to check my blood sugar level 4 times a day.  I was to eat nothing that had more than 3 g of sugar per serving.  The hardest part was I only wanted to eat French toast with strawberries and whipped cream.  Bad and wrong.  Bean tostadas became my staple while I was pregnant as corn tortillas didn’t raise my blood sugar.

During the first few days of The Whole 30, I haven’t had any blood sugar issues.  I’ve paid particularly close attention to how I’ve been feeling so that I don’t get too hungry and run into a crisis, because once your blood sugar drops to 70, all bets are off and out comes the sugar.

If you suffer from hypoglycemia and try this program, do eat at regular intervals and don’t let yourself get too hungry.  The book suggests eating only 3 times a day (albeit more if you’re really hungry).  I have to eat a minimum of 4 times per day, smaller portions, and sometimes I’ll only have a hard-boiled egg just to keep my levels up.  However, with all the protein, goodness, and absence of sugar with this program, I haven’t seen nor felt any potential insulin problems. Score one for the diet!

However, with all that being said, I did have an issue in the middle of my long run on Sunday. After 4 miles, I had to make a detour home because there came a point where I couldn’t even hold my shoulders back as I felt so weak.  After James and I analyzed my food intake, we came to the conclusion that I didn’t fuel properly to sustain a long run.  Spaghetti squash, 2 ounces of chicken, and some olives the night before do not make for a good pre-load dinner, nor did the potato and banana I had for breakfast.  I need to eat way more protein with more complex carbs the night before, and truth be told, I need to eat at least some protein before my long run to power me through.

It’s all “trial and error” and “live and learn.”  I now have raisins to fuel me in the middle of my long runs (yuck), and I will try again next Sunday for better results.  In the meantime, I have an 8-mile run to make up this week during the evening sometime.  The important thing is I didn’t reach for the jelly beans and break my program.

Day-by-Day Whole 30 Playback

Day 1:  Cravings were really strong.  I wanted my tea, my desserts, my oatmeal.  By about 2 p.m., I had a minor stomachache.  I stretched myself out, and after awhile the pain was gone.  Ran 3 miles.  Energy level was good.

Day 2:  Feeling okay.  Cravings are still strong and I’m really missing my oatmeal and peanut butter.  Fought hard against that after-lunch bite of chocolate that I was in the habit of having. The craving eventually subsided.

Day 3:  Friday and usually the day we have happy hour.  Cravings are still there, but are starting to diminish somewhat.  Now I’m just missing chocolate and my peanut butter… so much so the craving has switched to the powdered peanut butter I have in the cupboard.  Here’s the kicker… I’m allergic to peanuts and peanut butter… I’ve just been able to build my immunity up to where I don’t have a reaction anymore (although I have developed a significant reaction to pistachios, so they’re completely off the list).  For happy hour, I went for a run instead and stuck to my water, then finished off the night playing a video game.  If you want things to change, then you have to adjust the routine.  Energy levels are increasing.

Day 4:  OMG, my Saturday morning tea time.  Another hard routine to break.  I didn’t break the morning routine so much as I just made do with iced tea instead of hot tea.  I still spent the entire morning on my computer catching up with everyone.  Made a huge pan of roast veggies for lunch which filled me up nicely.  Haven’t craved chocolate today, but peanut butter craving is still there. Energy level is good… maybe because sometimes I spike my water with a little iced tea.  It’s a scheduled rest day, so only house cleaning on the to-do list.

Day 5:  Long-run Sunday.  I had issues with weakness, really wanted the sugariest sugar I could find to get through, but settled on a banana.  Once I had some scrambled eggs and a nap, I was back to normal.  No cravings other than the sugar I wanted on my long run.  Was a little bit hungrier than normal to which I’ll attribute to a glucose drop.

25 more days to go!

I Cooked! (kinda)

If you have followed my blog for any length of time, you know I’m not a whiz in the kitchen. However, every now and again… okay, maybe once a month… I like to try something new to see if I can’t improve my skills.  This time it was really no big deal and no major cooking here, but I did try something new and I was successful!  Kale chips!

Kale is one of those powerhouse super foods, but to be honest, it’s not that yummy in salads, in my opinion. I think it’s bitter, chewy, and has a texture similar to a bay leaf… again, in my opinion.  So, enter the kale chips.  Okay, it’s a bit fussy having to cut the leaves off the stalk and then drying them, but really, kind of worth it.  Better than potato chips or popcorn!  Voila!

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Perhaps not so pleasing to the eye, but believe me, they were tasty.  I think James described them as “something that looked like washed up on a beach.”  (which is okay too… I’ve been wanting to add seaweed to our diet just recently, another super food, :D)

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In other news… you may know I went for a bike ride last week.  When it came time to get on the bike again, it was raining, so I had to venture downstairs to the stationary bike.  It was actually a great setup as I decided to watch a program while doing it.  Now, I know this is not a new concept to the rest of the world… but it’s the first time I’ve ever actually done it, and it was quite pleasant… until about 20 minutes in… then I couldn’t feel my bum anymore and decided that that definitely couldn’t be a good thing, so I stopped.  But at least I’m a couple of rides closer to getting my sit bones used to a 50-mile ride.  My next feat with the bike, before the 50 miles, is a painful uphill climb that goes on for 3 or 4 miles which I have always avoided like the plague.  I’ll let you know later how that one goes.

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And, oh yeah, the running thing… I’ve been doing that, too.  I’ve stuck mostly to the treadmill so I can focus on my pace.  I know it’s weird and so unlike me to want to run on the treadmill, but hey, we do what we gotta do to reach our goals, don’t we.

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I’ve not stayed completely inside though!  The pictures you’re seeing are from a recent run around town.

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Wishing you a beautiful Tuesday!!