Disappointed

Had a very disappointing post operative appointment today. I had been thinking that since I have been feeling so good that I would probably be released to resume more of my normal activities. Even if I didn’t get released, I thought at least there would be some sort examination and I would get to hear about how things are healing up. But, neither of those things happened. The doctor asked how I was doing, I told him great and when could I start running. He said he was glad to hear I was doing great, but he never releases anyone for exercise before 6 weeks.

So. Not sure how to feel about this. Guess I will just keep doing what I am doing, maybe ease off somewhat, and continue to wait it out like I have been. Grr.

Resolutions

I have to admit to not being big on New Years resolutions. Not that my life couldn’t do with plenty of improvement, just that I am not usually motivated by the calendar to do it preemptively. Usually something bad has to happen before I make needed changes.

But last year I did make one resolution in January that I managed to stick with – and that was to get in shape and start running again. So, on the heels of that success, I figured I would do it again for 2014. But I have a lot of stuff on my plate this year, so I need to have a lot of resolutions. 14, to be exact.

Here they are:

1) Finish my first half-marathon (the Rain Run at the end of the month).

2) Run one more race in February (have to figure out what this will be).

3) Get some skiing in (this resolution may require travel unless we get some dang snow in the mountains).

4) Be brave about my surgery so my kids won’t be afraid.

5) Have a good recovery, and follow doctors orders (not my usual MO, will probably require effort not to want to jump the gun as far as getting back to my normal routine).

6) Be the best mom I can be – keep the yelling to a minimum. This is a hard one but it’s worth working on since my kids really don’t respond to it very well anyway. The goal is to have them want to cooperate, not to frighten them into it.

7) Figure out my career situation by the end of the year. Back to real estate? Or something else? I am not certain that the unpredictability of real estate works for our family dynamic, so I need to get this figured out.

8) Get back to running (even if slow and not very far) by June. Supposedly I can start doing light workouts again (not running, lifting or twisting) after a couple of weeks so I feel this should be doable.

9) Finish another half marathon between September 1 and December 31, 2014.

10) Lose 8 pounds.

11) Run a 5k in under 27 minutes.

12) Run a 10k in under 54 minutes.

13) Get Christmas cards out before Christmas rather than after New Years.

14) Read more books.

Happy New Year!

Hope everyone’s new year is getting off to a good start. Mine is – we have been having a great time with our boys all through the holidays and it was really fun helping them get into the spirit of New Years Eve yesterday. We had originally been planning to go to a party at some friends house, but that was cancelled when the hostess’s son came down with stomach flu. Such a bummer for him, but at least our family was able to make alternate plans. We ended up eating ham and bean soup, going to see Frozen, then coming home to drink sparkling apple cider and prosecco, and watching the ball drop in NYC before sending the kids to bed. A very enjoyable way to say goodbye to 2013.

This morning we all woke up a bit late and groggy from staying up the night before, but still wanted to do something fun together as a family. So we decided to go to Discovery park in Seattle for a hike, and then to the Lockspot Cafe for lunch. I had smoked salmon chowder and a green salad. I can tell that I am pretty much at the end of the holiday feasting because salad is starting to sound really, really good to me. I am kind of over all the holiday junk and sweets. Even the egg nog in my coffee just doesn’t seem as festive and exciting as it did back in November. It is time to put all the holiday stuff away for next year (except the egg nog – I’ll just drink that, then it will be gone).

Done.

I think I mentioned that I am training for a half marathon at the end of the month. It’s going pretty well. I did a 9.5 mile run on Sunday which felt about as good as a 9.5 mile run can. I didn’t run very fast but I did maintain a steady pace all the way to the end. My ankles were a little sore after, but that was all. Did a 5 mile run a couple days later with no issues at all. Felt great, except for a little bit of a refluxy feeling that I think is from eating junk for the last 2 weeks straight. Oh well.

As far as a training plan for the half, I don’t really have one. What I do is, I run on a three week cycle – short, medium then long. You can’t as a newbie just pile miles on every week, you have to give yourself a break. So for instance, I ran 7 miles for my long run the first week of this cycle, then 8.5, then 9.5 this past Sunday. Now I will cycle back to a shorter distance and do it again. In the next cycle the short run will be the same length as the medium run from the previous cycle. So on my next cycle, I will run 8.5, then 9.5, then 11. And that will probably be the last long run before the half itself.

So far this non-plan has been working pretty well. I guess well see how it goes as I get closer to the big day!

Factory parts no longer under warrantee

Been pretty quiet on the blog lately, I know. I’ll rectify that situation now and give a brief update. But look out – I’m gonna be all old and talk about my health problems. Worse, I’m gonna talk about my lady parts.

The upshot is, the factory warrantee on my lady bits is about to expire. About the time I stopped posting, I started having some female problems. More specifically, I had the recurrence of some problems I had managed to keep on the back burner for the last few years.

A few years ago (2010), I had been having a lot of heavy bleeding between periods, which my doctor at the time kind of dismissed as being no big deal given that we knew I had some fairly good size fibroids. Her attitude was kind of “well, you have fibroids. Bleeding happens.”

I wasn’t satisfied with this answer though because up to that point, it hadn’t been happening to me. I knew that the fibroids had been there for years and never caused any abnormal bleeding before. Why did they suddenly start bleeding now? That didn’t seem right to me, so I asked her, how do we know everything is normal? She basically said, we don’t know, I am just making certain assumptions based on your age and general health. You don’t fit the profile for uterine cancer, but would you like me to test and make sure?

I said yes so she did an endometrial biopsy. And found that I had complex endometrial hyperplasia – which is not cancer, but can develop into cancer in some cases. She prescribed a round of progesterone and assured me that they could probably make the condition reverse and my bleeding would stop being an issue.

It didn’t work. I was referred to a gynecologist. Two more rounds of progesterone, more tests and still no improvement.

This time (early 2012) I was referred to a gynecological surgeon. The first words out of his mouth were – I think you are at high risk for this to develop into cancer given that you don’t fit the profile and aren’t responding to the usual course of action and I recommend hysterectomy.

That scared me. I had just adopted two high energy little boys and basically felt that my home situation was not under control enough to where I could consider anything that would incapacitate me for more than about 5 seconds. I wasn’t ready to take that step. So we decided to try some last ditch efforts to keep my factory parts. He prescribed megestrol, a high dose progesterone pill that is given to cancer patients to fight endometrial cancer (which I did not have, but I did have a precancerous condition so it was an appropriate treatment).

I also had to have a D&C. At the end of this, it appeared that the hyperplasia had finally been reversed and so I was able to avoid having the hysterectomy at that time. Instead, I was put on the Mirena IUD to provide a constant localized dose of progesterone in hopes that this would keep the bleeding issues at bay. Mirena actually stops periods completely, so after a few months I wasn’t supposed to be having any bleeding at all – not even my period.

It worked for a while but in early November, I had a period after not having had one for over 6 months. So once again, things were not responding as they are supposed to. And honestly, at this point I am just tired of worrying about this. Who wants to have the big C hanging over their head? I don’t have it now – and I don’t want to have it at any point in the future. I don’t really want to give things a chance to develop to that point.

So now is as good a time as any to take care of this. My life basically feels under control, I know my kids will be okay and that I will be okay, there is no reason to continue having this scary thing hanging over my head. I’m healthy and want to stay that way. So it is coming out in early March. I am just ready to be done with it.

How this ties into my running is, that since I don’t know how I will recover from the surgery, I am trying to get in as much running and exercise as possible before the big day so that I can be in as good of shape as possible beforehand. I am hoping this will make the recovery easier. It’s supposed to be laparascopic and minimally invasive, but still there will be some down time and recovery involved.

I have some goals I am working toward (partly to make myself feel better about this situation). I plan to do a half marathon at the end of January, and just did a 12k on December 15.

Some of my other plans for 2014 are on hold though – I won’t be doing the Heroes Half in April. I should be walking and maybe doing some short distance running by then, but 13 miles is right out. So running wise, I expect that I will spend most of next Spring and early Summer in recovery, and maybe if all goes really well, I can do a half sometime in the fall.

I will have to be careful though. They say you only get one chance to recover from this so I plan to take it easy and come back slowly. But until then I plan to run as much as I can, as fast as I can, until I can’t.

Weekly Roundup and Marine Corps Marathon SHUTDOWN?

Once a week, I get an email from MapMyRun telling me my mileage for the week and some other statistics. I guess I added on a few miles more than I thought.

17.5 miles
4 workouts
3.2 hours
2445 calories burned (good, maybe this burned off some of that pie!)

So mileage wise, I am pretty much where I want to be for now. Sunday’s 7-miler went really well so I am feeling very confident about being ready for the distance on Oct. 27. In fact, it was funny, I expected to be sore on Monday morning, but I was not. I guess that means I should have tried harder…except I would feel pretty silly if I hurt myself again, so it was the smart thing to do to take it a little bit easy. I will just save my foolishness until the race itself.

One thing that is bothering me is that I may have twisted my upper back in my sleep on Sunday night – I feel a tightness from my right shoulder blade that sort of wraps around my ribs to the front of my chest. It’s uncomfortable but didn’t stop me from putting my 3 miles in on the treadmill and doing a core class, although it DID prevent me from enjoying them very much! It seems to feel better since I took a hot shower so I am hopeful that it will just resolve itself in a day or two. I will just take it a little bit easy and lay off the upper body strength work. Still planning to keep running and working on legs, hips and limited core though.

Looking past the Snohomish River Run, I haven’t seen any road races coming up between now and the end of the year that I am all that eager to do. There are a lot of 5Ks this time of year, but I don’t really care for the 5K distance. Not sure why…maybe because it is over too quickly. However, I am also not ready to take on more than a 10K or maybe a 12K. There isn’t a lot coming up at those distances. So I might just do a couple of those Ugly Sweater runs and call it good for 2013 (I’ll still be running, just not in any races).

In other news, I just saw THIS pop up on Facebook today. It will be a MAJOR bummer for the 30,000+ people who have been training all year to run this race if the organizers have to postpone due to the government shutdown, but it just goes to show how everyone will be feeling the pain if this shutdown doesn’t end soon. Though in other news, it also looks like Congress may have a deal put together this week, so maybe the race will still be able to go on – and more importantly, maybe the government can reopen, people can be paid, and our national debt ceiling lifted so that China doesn’t decide to “deAmericanize” us – yikes!

A Big Accomplishment for a Small Person – and I Ran

Tuesdays are crazy around here. Both boys have swimming at separate times, plus one has soccer practice and usually about 2 hours of homework (yes, in first grade. Poor guy!). By the end of the day we are all pretty much just running on fumes.

Oleg is currently in preschool in the afternoons (or Pre-K as he will strongly remind you), and still at nearly 5 years old is good for a 2 or 3 hour nap on most afternoons when we can fit it in. Because of these reasons, he takes his swim lesson in the morning. This is usually right in the middle of the time when I work out, so I have to work around it.

On the subject of Oleg’s swimming, I have to laugh, because for a year he has been enrolled in Pike level at our local Y. I think he’s on his 4th or 5th time through the class. This is because although he loves to swim it’s been a struggle for him to get his body and his brain all wrapped around the actual act of swimming. He just could not physically do it. Also, when we had him in afternoon lessons, he would be so freaked out by the noise level in the pool that he would basically be mentally out to lunch the entire time. So, we kept enrolling in Pike and he would pick up one or two skills each time but was just not ready to pass on to the next level.

We think learning to swim is important as a safety precaution, so we figured we’d just keep trying until he got it. Well, finally, one year later, he is getting it. It helps that at the end of August we went to DisneyWorld, where he got to spend an hour or two in the pool every day. But also, he is physically more coordinated and mentally starting to make connections he couldn’t before. And finally, the morning lessons are quiet enough that he is more able to focus and stay calm. So finally after a year of doing “Chicken-airplane-rocket” at the Pike level, he gets to move up to Eel. It’s a big accomplishment for the little guy.

Usually, during swim lessons is when I try to do my running. I get to kill two birds with one stone – I am not there at the lesson to draw Oleg’s attention away from his teacher, and I get the run done at the same time. But yesterday I decided to watch the lesson instead. This meant that when the lesson was done I had to rush to get the running done and didn’t have much time for strength work. So I decided to make it as good of a run as I could, and do a longer strength workout today.

It turned out to be a good run. This includes warm up and cool down and so the pace was pretty good.

image

After the run, I did leg and core strengthening. That meant that today, I needed to mainly focus on arms, shoulders, and hips. Plus core which is kind of a daily thing. So that’s what I did – and not much more, because Oleg really needed a nap today, due to waking up at 2, 4 and 6 am, and being crabby as a result. He is normally a good sleeper, but being enrolled in school, swimming and soccer is probably about one thing more than he can really handle, so he has been getting very tired. And when he gets tired, he doesn’t sleep as well. Which is kind of counterintuitive, but that seems to be the deal with kids sometimes.

Let the Eating and Running Commence

First blog posts are awkward, even when it’s not your first blog. But here goes.

Two years ago, my husband and I were knee deep in finalizing our adoption from Russia. It was a grueling, extremely stressful process that took nearly three years. I wrote about it over on my other blog Beyond the Sea. By the time we brought our two sons home at ages 3 and nearly-5, I was sick, tired, stressed out and as a first time mom, in over my head with two extremely mobile (some might even say rambunctious), opinionated little people.

I was eating too much, not sleeping well, and not getting enough exercise (following kids around on the playground doesn’t really count). My body was nearly always suffering some sort of ache or pain, I was having extreme anxiety reactions (shaking hands, pounding heart) to conflict within the household, and to top it off I was dealing with endometrial hyperplasia, a precancerous condition for which the recommended medications cause weight gain.

To say I felt like crap would be an understatement. Topping it off was the fact that the scale had entered the “no fly zone” – I was officially overweight. It was at this point I realized two things:

1) I was going to have to take drastic action if I did not want to be feeling this way for the rest of my life.
2) The rest of my life might not be as long as I’d like if things kept on how they were.

So I decided to start exercising again. I’ve always kind of enjoyed exercise, the sweating and the good feeling of tiredness that comes after. The only problem was inertia and general laziness that was keeping me out of the gym. Once you’re stuck in a rut, sometimes it can seem easier to remain in that rut. But with two kids and a husband that need me to be at my best, staying stuck and unhealthy wasn’t really an option anymore.

So, in January 2013 I did something I almost never do, and made a new years resolution to start making exercise and taking care of myself a higher priority. My gym has free child care and I soon figured out that I could kill 2 birds with one stone – I could get fit and I could also get the alone time that I needed to maintain my sanity. I started feeling better and happier than I had in a long time.

Best of all, I rediscovered running. It had been years since I ran seriously, but this year I got back to it and have even entered in a few 5k and 10k races. It has been great feeling my body getting healthier and stronger. I’ve lost weight, my clothes look better and best of all, my mental state is a lot healthier than it was a year ago.

I am now at the point of wanting to take my running to the next level and try to complete a marathon in Fall of 2014. This blog will be where I record my training efforts, good days and bad days on the run (we all have them), and also will focus on other aspects of trying to get healthier – like what I am putting into my body.

So basically, this blog is where I will share my adventures in eating, running and being a mom (priorities not in that order), thus the name. I hope you enjoy reading!