Have you entered my CEP Compression Sweepstakes here or checked out my audition post here?
Did you know that blogging is actually just a cheaper version of therapy? It is
kind of exactly like journaling, except for the fact that everyone else reads it (minor detail, right?) So here is hoping that I get in a good therapy session with this post. Tomorrow, I promise I will talk about running, ok? Deal.
These past few days I have been working on acceptance, and it has not been easy in the least. Whether it is running or “real life,” I am just a little Type A, can you tell? I want to be able to control everything! If there is a problem, I want to be told how to fix it and then I can simply take the steps to do so. In law school, this was problematic. I wanted my professors to give me exact answers, they could not. They would try to tell me to see the forest instead of the trees, but I was just so darn fixated on those trees; they are important too, right? That is kind of what this journey has been like thus far. I want to control everything, I want answers, I want to know if I do X, Y, and Z, then everything will fall into place, but I cannot know that and that is really really hard.
So let’s back up. As I mentioned previously, my nutritionist and I spoke about decreasing the workouts and increasing food intake by about 200 calories. I thought that was going to be easy and so far the workout decrease has been fine. The food increase has been surprisingly hard. It should be easy, but, in all honesty, it has not been. I find myself fixated on the right foods to eat and reexamining my diet at every turn. Am I eating too many carbs? Do I need more dairy fats? Just more healthy fats? How much proteins?
This is exhausting and while I hope to meet with my nutritionist this week, I know that part of all these thoughts are just symptoms masking my anxiety and that I have to deal with the real issues. On top of all of this is the underlying comments and opinions that people have said. Some say I am at a healthy weight and do not need to gain countered with those that think I do need to gain is troubling. And to put the cherry on the sundae, this week none of my clothes seem to be fitting right and are much more snug. I have been off Provera for three weeks and only a minor increase in food for one week, it just seems…weird. I feel uncomfortable and uncertain in my body.
O.k. enough of the brain dump now an actual update (feel free to skim). I went to a new Reproductive Endocrinologist yesterday and I loved her. She was so wonderful and spoke to us for a long time wanting to know everything about me and my history. I am really excited to work with her. But what exactly does she think and what is exactly the issue is, she is not sure yet. When I asked her if she thought my plan of decrease exercise increase food was a good one that would help, she said she was not sure since I had never tried that before. She sent us for an ultrasound and to meet her associate who we would work closely with (who btw thought my weight was fine and to give the cardio a rest).
Now, the way I understand it (and I really don’t), there could be two issues I could be dealing with here that are causing me not to ovulate and not get my period (and don’t quote me on this, I was never a big Bio fan). The first could be the issue of Hypothalamic Amenorrhea without going into too much detail; it is mainly an issue with the hypothalamus in my brain not producing any or enough of the hormones needed for ovulation. This is often treated through changing lifestyle factors – exercise and potentially weight gain. The other, and my knowledge is weak here, has to do with polycystic ovaries (but not the syndrome). The associate doing the ultrasound told us this information. It is all a bit fuzzy but my main take away was that about 25% of women have this and we could likely get me to ovulate with Clomid (a drug used to induce ovulation). But right now overall, no actual plan has been set. First on Tuesday, I am going to have have this all day test where they draw my blood every 10 minutes and that will tell them a ton more of how we should proceed. Apparently, what this really means is on Tuesday I will be stuck in a chair for 10 hours and am free to Tweet, read blogs, catch up on Daily Mile etc., so make sure to keep me company please!
So there you have it, all the technical stuff. But for me it all comes back to the fact that I have NO control here. I do not really have any complete answers and don’t know if what I am doing will work. Put this on top of the random weight and bloating issues and it is unsettling, to say the least.
Today, I am working hard on acceptance. I am working to relinquish control. I am working on being happy. This is hard stuff. It has made me a bit sad. But writing can be therapy right? So, I am resolving to take on a challenge for the rest of the afternoon. I am going to fake it until I make it and I am going to try and give myself a few hours off to just enjoy myself and let the process be what it is. I trust my doctors and my team and I need to relax. So for now that is what I am going to try and do just that. No more weeping at this moment it is time to go enjoy the weekend and relinquish the control I want to have.
How do you let get? Happy Weekend All!
So, I haven’t been doing a great job following my 8-Week Half Marathon Training Plan, but I’m going to try to do better in the coming weeks. I thought I could handle 5 days of CrossFit + 3 training runs each week, but I’m now realizing it just isn’t going to happen—at least not right now. (Maybe it’s something to work toward in the future?) My new workout schedule will probably be 4 days of CrossFit + 2-3 training runs each week. I think I can handle that. We’ll see how it goes!
I was actually planning to go to CrossFit tonight, but my upper back and shoulders are still sore from Tuesday’s workout. (Wall-Climbs are my nemesis!) So, instead of having a mediocre workout tonight that could potentially leave me exhausted for tomorrow’s WOD, I’m skipping tonight’s class and starting fresh tomorrow. Plus, Saturday’s workouts are always a blast, so I don’t want to miss it.
A 10K was on my training schedule for today, so I hit the treadmill for a sweaty workout. It was a lot of fun and really challenging. I love those kinds of workouts.
I liked this treadmill workout because it started out at an easy pace and built speed every 1/2 mile. By mile 4 or so, the speeds started to get pretty challenging, but I kept telling myself:
only 3 more intervals
only 2 more intervals
only 1 more interval
Which helped me mentally motivate and pace myself by breaking down the run into smaller pieces. I also reminded myself that I wasn’t running that much faster on each interval, so I knew I just needed to keep trucking along. Plus, the faster I ran, the quicker it would be over! When I hit 6 miles, I picked up the pace and sprinted to the end. I love finishing strong. I also love this workout (if you couldn’t tell)!
I finished 6.2 miles in 52:34, which was an average pace of 8:28, and my fast 10K ever. I beat my current PR by 41 seconds! Woohoo!
Before heading to the gym, I snacked on a banana.
Ok, it’s an old joke, but I still think it’s funny!
After my workout, I threw together a quick lunch: deli ham + provolone cheese with guacamole on whole wheat bread. On the side: salad with truffle oil and balsamic vinegar. Quick, easy, delicious.
A few hours later, I snacked on another banana, but this time with a scoop of almond butter. I guess it was a two banana kind of day. < —- TWSS?
I’m off to walk the pug, and then I plan to sit on the couch and drink wine for the rest of the night.
Happy weekend, friends!
The other day, I received the following email from a reader:
I recently re-laced the sneakers to start running again to train for the Warrior Dash (3.3 miles). Yes, I need to train a few months because running is not natural to me. My question is can you do a post on running music? I currently listen to the Girl Talk album, but I always need new and very fast powerful songs to add on. I am in a slump. Help!!!
Blog post on running music? Your wish is my command!
I actually haven’t written about running music since I made my playlist for my first marathon, which was over a year ago, so I figured it was about time to revisit the topic, especially since the tunes on my iPod Shuffle have changed so much.
Current playlist favorites:
- Blackout - Breathe Carolina
- Domino – Jessie J
- Super Bass – Nicki Minaj
- Run This Town – Jay-Z, Rihanna & Kanye West
- You Da One by Rhianna
- Lonely Boy – The Black Keys
- All of the Lights – Kanye West
- The Show Goes On – Lupe Fiasco
- Raphael Saadiq – 100 Yard Dash
- Son’s Gonna Rise – Citizen Cope
- Teeth- Lady GaGa
- Cupid Shuffle – Cupid
- Sexy and I Know It – LMFAO
- Ray LaMontagne – Henry Nearly Killed Me
- J’adore Hardcore – Scooter
- This City – Patrick Stump
- Tonight Is The Night – Outasight
Old playlist favorites:
- Tik Tok – Ke$ha
- Whataya Want from Me – Adam Lambert
- Let It Rock – Kevin Rudolf & Lil Wayne
- We R Who We R – Ke$ha
- Born to Run – Bruce Springsteen
- Short Skirt, Long Jacket – Cake
- Evacuate the Dancefloor – Cascada
- Made Up My Mind – David Gray
- Hey Hey – The Elms
- Don’t Stop Believin’ – Journey
- Firework – Katy Perry
- Bad Romance – Lady GaGa
- Poker Face – Lady GaGa
- Paper Planes M.I.A.
- Hung Up – Madonna
- P.Y.T (Pretty Young Thing) – Michael Jackson
- Raise Your Glass – P!nk
- You Belong With Me – Taylor Swift
When I’m not listening to one of these two playlists (I creatively named them “Marathon Mix” and “New Running Music”) on my Shuffle, I’m listening to Pandora on my iPhone.
Favorite Pandora stations:
- 80’s Cardio Radio
- Pop and Hip Hop Power Workout Radio
- Lady Gaga Radio (obviously)
- Rap Strength Training Radio
- Alternative Endurance Training Radio
FYI: Pandora has a Workout genre with tons of stations just for working out. It’s sweet!
I don’t know about you, but music is essential for my runs, especially my long training runs. I know plenty of runners who enjoy running without music, but I’m just not one of them. Music makes the run for me. It motivates me and pushes me to run faster and farther. A lot of the time, my music helps me get in the zone with my thoughts, which relaxes me and makes the time go by. I honestly don’t know what I’d do without music on my runs.
I’m actually starting to get a little bored with my current playlist, so if you have favorite songs, please share! I love switching up my playlists to bring a little excitement to my runs and other workouts!
I wanted to make a Protein Pancake for breakfast this morning, but we were out of eggs, so I got creative with my Kodiak Cake Mix and vanilla protein powder. In my pancake batter was 1/2 cup Kodiak Cake Mix, 1/2 cup water, and 1/2 scoop of protein powder. It turned out great!
I topped my pancake with peanut butter and fresh blueberries. Mmm… so delicious!
I’m off to get my run on!
See ya later!
This year, I have been lucky enough to become a Fit Fluential Ambassador. This is an audition post to see if anyone out there might be interested in having me write for them. I hope everyone enjoys getting to know a little big more about me. Thanks for stopping by.
Disclaimer: As you may have guessed from recent posts, some personal things have been going on in my life that I have not been 100% forthcoming with. I always debate how much I want to share on this blog, and lately, I could be sharing more than I have. After much consideration, I decided that it might be helpful for me and hopefully you all to open up a little more. Not sure where this will take my blog but we will just give it a go and see what you all think and if it works. I hope you will stick with me…
Luckily for me, I am blessed today with all of those things, which could not have come at a better time because I really needed all of these things to come together to make some big decisions. Today’s run and conversations before, during, and after have led to some BIG decisions, as they often do (it is something about running that just brings those wise thoughts or crazy spouts of energy). I am not sure where these decisions will lead, if they will change as we go, or if they will stay the same, but for this moment this is where we are at (and by tomorrow I may even be somewhere else, stay tuned).
Big Decision # 1 – I will not be running the NJ Marathon, if possible, I will do the half. Sigh.
Big Decision # 2 – I will increase my calorie intake by 200 calories a day, if not more.
Big Decision # 3 – I will cut back training to 4 cardio sessions a week and 1 strength training sessions followed by two full days of rest (or a day of full rest and a day of Stretch, Flow, & Relaxation Yoga).
Now the explanation, and like I said, we are getting a little more personal here. I hope it can benefit us all. While Aaron and I are still very young, we have hopes of starting a family in the near future. We have been together for 8 years and are ready to add an addition to our home. The only problem being is to add that someone, namely a baby, you need to get pregnant. To get pregnant, generally, you need to get your period. I am not pregnant and I am not getting my period. This is, as you would guess, problematic.
Let’s back up and give you the whole story. Until July, I was on the pill and getting regular periods, most likely due to the Pill. The combination of hormones in the Pill, estrogen and progesterone, allowed me to have regular monthly periods, keeping me healthy and my bones protected. In July, I went off the Pill and have not had my period since.
My doctor told me to wait, that some women take up to 3 months to re-regulate. I waited, but nothing happened. While this was ideal for marathon training, it was not so great for baby world. After the marathon, I went back to my doctor and we tried another hormone, Provera – a hormone meant to essentially “jump start” your body into having a period. Again, no luck.
Thursday, I saw a Reproductive Endocrinologist. In a very blunt and scientific manner, he looked at my labs and told me that I should stop exercising and sit on the couch and eat french fries (and yes that is what he said). I was diagnosed with exactly what I thought I would be diagnosed with – Secondary Amenorrhea.
SecondaryAmenorrhea occurs when a woman who was previously menstruating stops menstruating. It is, in essence, an absence of a period. While some might rejoice in this, it is not a good thing and it can have negative consequences if not treated.
Clearly, regardless of the “baby factor” we are taking this very seriously. It is not something to play around with. In comes the dilemma, what causes it and how to treat it. There are a number of opinions and causes. Some causes include natural ones, hormonal imbalances and structural issues. None of these fit me as far as we can tell. What does, however, fit me is these other “lifestyle causes” including stress, low body weight, and excessive exercise (maybe, it is debatable if this is actually a cause).
The “prescription” from my doctor, as noted, was to gain weight (10 lbs) and drastically reduce my exercise. But not every doctor subscribes to this theory. My nutritionist, Nancy Clark, argues that it is not the marathons but the caloric deficit that is problematic. In essence, my body does not have the calories it needs to sustain life or a period and do all that I am doing. Increase the calories, reduce some exercise, and see results.
Thursday night when I came home from the doctor, I was fairly distraught. The idea of just gaining 10 lbs and cutting out almost all exercise seemed a little much for me to handle. After doing some further research (thanks Google) and talking with Nancy, it seems that there are other options. Yet even further I feel the need to discuss with more doctors and get more opinions on which is the correct route to go for me.
In the past few days, I have talked with a lot of friends and professionals. I have ridden a bit of an emotional roller coaster and I have made the above decisions. However, getting to these decisions was not easy. In some respects, after gathering more information, these decisions may change again…But for now, let’s start here, with how I came to this decision….
To Be Continued…
Have you had any experience with Amenorrhea? Do you struggle to decide how much to share if you blog?
*Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional. I am not providing advice as a professional but sharing my story.
Over the past few days, I have had the unplanned “opportunity” to take a step back and look at my running and reflect. To understand what is important to me, what I want out of running, and what makes me a runner. In many aspects of my life, I do this often, but with running, I generally just GO, GO, GO!!
There is always another race, another training plan, another PR to tackle. It is, in short, addicting. Don’t get me wrong, I love it. I love so many things about running minus those very painful moments…
But like it or not conversations and suggestions led me to think about how much I value running and what makes me a runner. Long story short, for the immediate future anyway, we decided that it might be a good idea for me to tweak my training just a tad. I generally take one rest a day week. For a little while, however, I am going to experiment with taking one full rest day a week and one rest or Stretch, Flow and relaxation day a week. The hope being that this extra day will allow my body to recover more, for me to feel a bit less stressed, to help with that whole weight gain thing (more this week if I am feeling all sharing is caring like), and hopefully to even enjoy the benefits of yoga and rest. After all, as people keep telling me I “Run for Fun,” right?
When this was first suggested to me, I actually jumped at the chance, probably because the other options were cut your training in half (clearly one day v. half, I will take the one day). And I am still pretty O.K. with this option, it is reasonable, sensible, and, hopefully, a step in the right direction, for me anyways. Yet, the more it ruminated with me, the more I started to think about whether this made me less of a Runner, less of an Athlete. In my mind, I went over and over my training plan thinking about which day I would cut and which day would “hurt” me the least. What would happen if I only got 2 days of running in instead of 3 or 2 days of cross-training instead of 3? Would all be ruined? Am I any less of an athlete if I choose to take that extra day while so many around me double up on workouts with a bike and then a swim; or a run and then cross training; and here I am twiddling my run. The comparison game is a very VERY slippery slope and one that is not healthy nor one I wish to venture down.
Ultimately, while these “evil” ideas try to invade my thoughts, I know better and am stronger than such thoughts. Maybe one less training day a week will hurt my speed and endurance, or maybe it will help. Maybe the extra day will ward off injury and some Stretch and Flow yoga will help me stay limber (now I just need the perfect DVD to accomplish this). Honestly, I don’t know the answers to these questions and like any wonderful Type A Runner that scares the crap out me. What, I can’t control it, I can’t control everything?!? Apparently, that is not how the world works…
Seriously, whether I like it or not, I am going to have to learn to be O.K. with the fact that I cannot control everything. In the meantime, I have to remember a valuable lesson:
Remember when I wrote all about how I avoid scales and numbers? Oh when was that, like three days ago? Yup! Remember how I told you all that I don’t know what I weigh and am happy about that? No need to have a scale for me. I am very happy not knowing.
Well apparently, my doctor did not get the message when I said I would rather not know my weight or maybe he chooses not to read my blog (I don’t know how that could ever happen especially with a Chobani Sweepstakes occurring ) because in the course of our discussion today my weight and the number attached to it came up multiple times. Yup, fun for me, so enjoyable to now know a number I have been purposefully avoiding ever so well for many many months. And guess who seems to have been right about gaining? This gal. Apparently it seems a new medication I have been taking added a good 5 lbs to my waist line in about 20 days. Yay medicine! Yay knowing my weight for the first time in over a year and a half.
Aaron was with me at this visit and he said his heart sunk when he heard the doctor say my weight and prayed that I did not hear it. But I did. And I am actually here living to talk about it. Because you know what it was not that bad, even though it was 13 pounds heavier than I thought. Yup, I have literally been thinking I was 13 pounds lighter for the past 1.5 years.
And you know what? I don’t care. It is just a number. It does not define me or who I am in the least. I still am in love with my body and proud of it. I am still going to move on with my day and the number will be what it will be.
That being all well and good. My doctor does want me to gain five pounds (yet to be determined if that is in addition to the “medicine weight” or if I just to replace one with the other). This is not so easy. I mean yes it is easy, I just have to eat all fun foods right? hehe.
But it is still a tall order first of which being will it effect my training and my running? Will people notice? Will people wonder and will my cute dresses still fit is second in the order of questions. I guess, though, I have to take a page from my own book here and remember it is only a number and it will not define me, that there is more to life and that if for right now I need to gain a few pounds that is ok too.
In the meantime, while I am accepting all this added weight, I would love to hear from you all. I know this is somewhat counter to what most healthy living bloggers are working on but have you ever had to gain some weight? How do you handle it? Does it effect your training?
Tonight after dinner, we sat on the couch watching TV and then Aaron had to go upstairs and finish work. This left me with a choice. To do the grown up thing and clean up all the dishes or to just leave it for tomorrow and say to hell with it, I am a grown up if I want to leave the dishes at the table (and by table I mean the coffee table) and go upstairs and blog and proceed to curl up in my big bed and watch yet another episode of Gossip Girl, then I damn well am going to do it (there were a lot of curse words in that sentence…oppps). So, with a sigh, I got up and, you guessed it, cleared the dishes. (Although sometimes if I am being honest those dishes wait till the next day – sorry Dad)!
This got me thinking about responsibility, running, and relaxation. Do I dare say the “Three Rs.” I like to think I am pretty good with the responsibility and running part – although my husband may argue otherwise, but he better not if he knows what is good for him. I get up every day, get my training in, get to work, come home, deal with housework and do all the grownup things that need to be done. As per running, I may not be the fastest runner or the best out there, but I hold my own. It is that relaxing part that I was never so good at. The part that tells me “hey just throw caution to the wind and choose not to put the dishes away.” That part of me that refuses to listen to the voice in my head when I just want to sleep an extra hour instead of going all the way to Boston at 5 a.m. for Physical Therapy. And that part of me that spent 14 hours a day studying for the bar exam. Yea, it is that part that is just not so good at the relaxation.
In the past few years, I have gotten better with this whole relaxation piece. Just ask my husband, you know the guy, I beg each night to get my frozen yogurt pops from the fridge a mere 20 feet away. But things have been a bit crazy lately so the relaxation piece has taken a back seat to Mrs. Responsibility and even running as well (as clearly demonstrated by the jello legs of last week).
I just have a very hard time “doing nothing.” Just being and enjoying. To just let paperwork go, to forget about the dishes, and to just rest. Ultimately, it builds up and it has been building. This week I am exhausted and I am not sure why. In comes, my goal and commitment for this post. Counter to everything that is the fast pace society that I live in, I am pledging to find time this weekend to just be. To relax. To let the laundry, the paperwork, and the dishes wait and to just enjoy a moment free of responsibility and even running and relax. We all need that sometimes…
How do you balance the three Rs? Do you ever leave the dishes to the next day (don’t make me feel bad here folks)?
Oh, how I love this weather. It’s 50 degrees and sunny in late-January! Remember this time last year? Blech. I’m not sure wintry weather gets any better than this!
I had a doctor’s appointment this morning, so I packed an apple in my purse just in case I got hungry on the drive home. I actually ended up getting hungry during my appointment, so I was happy to have a healthy snack with me.
Back at home, I made some scrambled eggs with Trader Joe’s Fresh Salsa mixed in for lunch.
Yummm! This salsa is awesome! It’s so fresh and flavorful with a seriously spicy kick. I absolutely loved it. If you’re a salsa fan and shop at TJ’s, you need to try this stuff!
On the side: raw veggies + roasted garlic hummus.
Lunch was a little light on the protein, so I made myself a protein shake. In the mix:
- 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
- 1 tbsp ground flaxseed meal
- 2 tbsp Teddie peanut butter
- 1.5 cups unsweetened almond milk
A few hours later, I snacked on a KIND bar. CrossFit is on the agenda for tonight, so I needed a little something to keep me going. Plus, I just can’t exercise on an empty stomach.
My 8-Week Half Marathon Training Plan
With only 8 weeks until the Rock ‘N’ Roll USA Half Marathon and no real plan, I decided to look online for some CrossFit Endurance-inspired training programs. I actually didn’t have to look too hard because I stumbled upon Brian MacKenzie’s 12-Week CrossFit Endurance Advanced Training Program right away. His plan is intended for triathletes with a mix of Crossfit and sport-specific training, so I just used the running part as the basis of my 8-week plan.
With this training plan, my weekly workouts will typically include 4-5 days off CrossFit, 3 days of running (using the workouts above), and 1-2 rest days.
I’m not going to lie, I have no idea if this training plan is going to work or not. The longest distance that I will be running before the half is 9 miles along with two 7-milers (one this weekend with friends, which totally isn’t part of the plan, and one the week before the actual race). Of course, this is much less running than I’ve ever done in preparation for a half marathon, so this training plan could potentially be a big waste of time, and I could end up crashing and burning on race day. Although, this plan could help me get faster without getting injured, so then it would be the greatest thing ever. We shall see!