Saturday, December 27, 2008


I'm scared.

I want someone to tell me what's wrong and how to fix it.
I want them to step me through it.

I feel so alone. I have hope to figure it out, of what might fix it, but still so lost.

And what if it doesn't work?
How long can I continue on like this?
What could my future become?

I don't even know what's right to do in my physical state--what's going on physically, what will cause more damage.

And I must find out how to fix it...before it's too late.


I have to admit, I have never reacted this quickly and strongly when “trying something different” [aka going off] previous elimination plans.
It started with me quickly realizing what I’d took for granted during those two weeks of eliminating problem foods, most strictly gluten, soy, and lactose. No, I wasn’t normal, I wasn’t healed, I still had issues—but I sure improved a heck of a lot in two weeks and really was relatively stable! I realized that as things quickly took a turn for the worse.
I thought maybe it was just coincidence. After all, I was starting on a plan with consistent and increased intake [plus no activity], with no extremes (limited fruit and fiber, barely any veggies, almost no soy and lactose still—mostly just more gluten and still overall “easy on the gut” foods)…this would all pay off: my digestion would calm down, I’d gain weight, I’d heal. Right?
If only it were so simple…

Only one day of eating gluten and a teeny bit of soy and things immediately took a turn back for the worse. Two nights later I was again at a low point and the following day was nonstop and escalating problems. Yesterday at work was pretty tricky. Mentally I’m reassuring myself it has to be coincidence, but it’s déjà vu. Things are back where they used to be and I’m struggling to function, even with “better” eating [by the all overall intake and “good foods to eat on the job to get easy calories” theory].
And it’s a blessing from Heaven that I didn’t have work today. Back to my unfunctionable low. Gut spasming in ways that terrified me. My insides tearing apart. From uncomfortable messy-stuck to gut spasming in ways that terrify me and feel like my body might literally be quitting. I already had to cancel my plans to go out just now. More importantly—my health, my future. Yes, I’m underweight and need to gain—but “treating” that alone isn’t going to make everything better if my gut won’t work.
Eating more, eating consistently, may be good things—but not the solution for whatever’s going on with my messed up system. L
I think I went back to that mindset when someone asked me if I had an eating disorder. To look at me is to think I’m just starving, and if I have digestion problems it’s because of that.
I want it to be that simple so bad.
But why can’t I count instead on what I’ve learned for years now?! If that was my fix than the meal plans I was so brutal about enacting back in college would have long since lead me to a strong athletic body. My digestion would be much improved, not at a low point I could have hardly imagined.
And to those who don’t understand, I want them to get in my body. To realize it’s not about not liking the discomfort, it’s about wrecking havoc on my life and my ability to take care of my physical needs and gain weight. They say eat 3,4, 5000 calories—whatever it takes—but they don’t realize this doesn’t do me any good if my system can’t take the nourishment I provide.
I know this can’t continue—not because it’s uncomfortable, but because it’s not curing me from the root cause.

Yes, I need to continue the meal plan process—counting and all that, until I reach a healthy point with my physical state and activity. BUT that alone isn’t my cure. If anything, it’s been incredible discouraging since I force myself to eat saying it will “fix these problems” and instead they get worse—and fast. My nutrition therapy is going to have to work in the process of building my diet [yes, like I knew deep down and even started]…I can build that and be patient and persevere as my body heals, stabilizes, and finally is capable of using the steady nourishment I give it with my meal plans to build it to peak health and athletics.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Hopes

It’s been 2 days and I’m up 4.5 pounds!

Even if it’s part fluctuation, surely SOME of it has to be real, right? That’s an awful big gain. I’ve never gained that much in a month, much less two days!

Oh my, I’m so many emotions I don’t even know:
-excited: can I really do this? Every Christmas I’m tired of being the messed up one. Every new Years I vow to “get buff.” I’m the most extreme ever this year [living like a sick one, not just an athlete trying to gain]…and I’m also the sickest I’ve ever been with my digestion and physical state…but could this be the time things really turn around?
-hopeful but worried: I still want to get better, not just gain weight. Even if I look better and get healthier stats, this is no way to live with all my “issues.”
I’m hanging on to a hope that part of the healing will come with just plain gaining weight, even if that process makes things temporarily worse in terms of digesting.
I have noticed that since I went off my eliminations things have gone progressively and quickly downhill. And I was actually stabilizing pretty well. I’m wondering if I continued the same core eliminations [not too severe, but at least gluten, soy, dairy pretty strict] but also keep my gameplan with the meal plan and activity, if they can all work together so I can heal, gain [and heal more!] and get the life and body I need.

Side note—I’m also OVER my first 2 activity standards = pilates/easy toning alternated with the ½ hour cardio IF I’m still here in two days [I’m making myself weight in TWICE at the standard because my weight has bounced around a lot in the past].

Christmas has resurrected my running dreams. I got a great book with not just training philosophies/plans, but how to adapt it to your body’s response. This is just the kind of thing I need after years of peaks and crashes with chronic injury: this year, instead of heading into the new year with the perfect training plan, I’m heading into it with the tools to build my body and my training to what will make me the best runner I can be and discover a new world of athletics I have yet to experience!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

My Christmas Wish

So many hopes, so many dreams, and it all starts with one thing…
I need my body to work.

Please, my dear Lord, my saving grace…grant me a body.
This physical thing, so vital for life.
Please, let me digest, put my system at rest.
That I might easily provide the nourishment my body so desperately needs.

My heart screams to run, there’s an athlete inside.
But my emaciated figure looks anything but.
My bones so, so fragile, my blood counts are low
Keep on like this, and my very life is at risk.
The athlete I am, in the chains of an invalid.

Everything in me longs for the key to these chains.
The horrid truth is, I wish I were starving.
Wish I could think “well if I’d just eat” everything would be fixed.
I wish I’d been practicing the actions of starving.
Living off of vegetables, restricting my intake.
Then, at least, my fix would be simple.

My emaciated figure, fragile bones, organs fighting to hold on.
It all screams that eating should be my cure all.
Just eat, eat, eat.
Malnourished I am, food is my medicine.
The logical part of me clings to that hope.
Time after time rigid meal plans I create.
Calories, calories-up, up, up, up!
Plus pack in the nutrition, cram it down.
Dedicating my life to the process, so hard.
With a system rebelling and worsening every bite.

Only to find, as much as I want a simple fix…
This is not the answer, something is wrong.
3000, 3500, 4000 calories or more.
Cut out the activity, yet instead of rebuilding, weight loss results.
And digestion goes haywire, function down the drain.
A life in the bathroom or trying to cope.
More painful, more damaging as each day passes.
Anything but improving with “consistent big eating.”
My body screams “starving” no matter what goes in.

If only, if only, my system could work.
I could eat what I need, and it would do what it should.
It would go to my heart, to my bones, to my blood.
Repairing the state of things, then building the body.
The body I need for life, the body my dreams require.

I’m tough, I know this, I do what I set my mind to.
This is the core of it all, of my future, my dreams.
I have shown myself willing to do what it takes,
Through the pain, through the failures, I keep forcing it on…
sacrificing things I love most for my dreams long term
Making food a priority, interests and passions aside.
Until I establish the fundamental health so vital.

And I’m left with the hopeless message haunting me…
It doesn’t work, it’s not right.
I want it to work, want it to be so simple.
Oh body oh body why won’t you take what I give you?

Please, I need answers. I need to know what to do.
Deeper than the obvious, I’ve been there tried that.
My action plans I’m so stubborn about—how can they work if my body refuses?

Dear God I beg you, you are my only hope.
Show me what to do, show me how to heal.
Tis’ my Christmas wish, the one only you can give.
A body that works, and the insight as to how I can work with it.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Wakeup Call and Beginning a Viscious Quest

I had an appointment with a physician yesterday and went from being concerned and frustrated with my health to terrified. I now feel like and invalid, a disaster waiting to happen. I am determined to go to the most extreme measures to make the turnaround I need, including completely cutting out activity and establishing a rigid meal plan to get things headed in the right direction. Only once I get the fundamentals-my health-in order can I even begin to build the athlete I have roaring from within.

So back at my followup with GI: the Dr. wasn’t much help [again] but she certainly did scare me. She said she is honestly afraid for my life. My iron is still alarmingly low, my white blood cell counts are low, and there is a very concerning absorption issue. Furthermore my bones are heading down the drain as I continue on without a period! She said my organs and heart are at risk as well.
Then I went to work and had my boss talk to me and ask me if I had an eating disorder. I just answered with what I know—which is that I don’t know, but if I do then I want to get better because I want my health back so bad. Whatever’s going on I need to get it taken care of, but I feel like I’m helpless. I have people telling me I’m underweight, anemic, and losing my bones, but don’t know how to fix it. I hate being sick. I hate not running. I miss my team, my running, and I’m scared I’ll never get it back. Everything within me wants to be a top level runner, and yet I sit around like an invalid—not because I can’t move, but because I’m terrified that if I do, I’ll be sacrificing my athletic dreams. But it has to work. I have to have an action plan and stick to it. I have to make a turnaround and progress. No one is telling me what to do about all this, so I’m trying to do it on my own. I’m determined and tenacious, and I can apply that same spirit here as I have to my passions, since it is my passions and future life that depends on getting these fundamentals in place!

I weighed myself this morning and am the lowest I’ve been this year. Almost down to my low point a couple years back—only now I’m also starting to seeing more physical side effects to my prolonged low weight and malnutrition [which continues to escalate as the digestion problems get worse].
My doctors haven’t told me to stop training altogether, but I did. I feel okay but I don’t want to find out the hard way that I’m not.

I’m trying to make my training plan right now a nutritional therapy plan, the only thing I can think of to fix me. After all, it's eating that is associated with so many problems--it's what hurts me, but it's lack of getting the nutrition that leaves me with this increasing doom on my body. Hopefully by changing my eating I can change the damage.

I set weight quotas where I can start some Pilates and toning, easy cardio, and eventually a more restricted running plan when I reach my first target weight range.

I made a daily calorie goal of 3000, because that’s about what I was averaging with 2 hour practices every day. I’m hoping without the physical training this intake will make me gain weight and hopefully heal me too.

I’m also making a strict meal plan with amounts I have to eat during the day. In the past I prefer to just eat as I go and make sure I meet my calorie goal before bed. But right now I think I need to make sure I’m getting a steady intake rather than starving when my stomach is acting out then binging to make up for it. I know that just messes me up more. As I make progress I can flex more with eating as I want with a calorie backbone, and eventually eating freely as I enjoy doing--when I know how to eat to meet my needs!

I’m playing around with what I can eat. Trying to limit fiber, yet not eliminate it or my gut REALLY doesn’t work. If I don’t see improvement with a steady meal plan structure I might have to truly do a strict diet buildup. But I’m going to give this a chance first, since my diet has been so all over the place in terms of what and when and how much I eat these past months with all the stomach chas. Right now I have criteria to keep my intake steady and everything [besides known problem foods of course] in moderation; definitely no diet crap even though our house is filled with it and it’s yummy.

Up next is more steps forward. Increasing intake as necessary, and possibly messing around more with what I can and cannot eat. I’ve got to do this. I’ve got to get my body healthy and working. I’m so desperate, so frustrated, and yet so determined.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Speedy Stuff!

Ok, maybe not actually SPEEDY…but compared to my gimpy limits as of late, today’s run was yet another breakthrough! As I mentioned in my last post, despite feeling good enough to run 6m+ daily again, Im trying to limit how fast I increase so I don’t wind up injured all over again. Hence, I only had 3m left for the weekend. Since I have been feeling so great I decided “what the heck, let’s see if I can pick up the pace!”
It turned out very nicely in relative terms. I averaged about 8:30mpm, which isn’t even my marathon pace in a normal state, but I can’t complain considering less than two weeks ago I could barely pull of a proper gait or get under 10mpm without serious pain.

Today’s run also inspired me to continue with limits on the total mileage and increases on the types of workouts I do. Even when I am capable of running 30, 50, 70mpw, I don’ t want to just go out an churn daily 10 milers. I truly love having a short and speedy run! I also think having some of those will be a real asset to my training—improvements and recovery—and perhaps a key to the faster race times I want.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Ups and Downs

First of all, the highlight of my week : I'M RUNNING AGAIN!
And I don't say that or take it lightly. I've had some trial runs, cautious gimps, all month, but no real "feeling my legs back" dealios. Slow but minor improvement...until this week it was like BAM the floodgates open! Aside from being pretty out of shape [wow did today's 8 miler wear me out!], I feel like my own self. AND I'm loving and appreciating my runs more than ever.
It's a good thing I've had an insane week of work and school to keep my runs in check or I'm not sure I could restrain myself from increasing too quickly.
Which brings me to a question for my running readers: How quickly is appropriate to increase after being injured?
I know the usual standard is to keep it at 10%/week--but what if you'd been running a lot more in the past, and only had lower mileage due to injury?
2 weeks ago I was at 15mpw, last week was 20, and this week is already at 22. I am going to try and keep my run [2 days from now :(] at 3m so I don't go past 25, but i feel like I could go straight to 30 without hurting myself. What should I limit myself to as I get back in my groove?
One thing I know is I won't be training 70+mpw this winter! With everything I've got going on there's no way. I'm hoping to keep it around 50mpw and build more quality into it. It'll be interesting to see what kind of results I get come spring '09.

Quick note on the GI status...
Big fat, F. I hit and held an all time low this week. Literally could not function. I'll spare the details I can't even find words for, but it's been horrendous and survival mode.
Starting yesterday I'm taking things into my own hands again. Trying not to get extreme so I just hurt myself more, but at the same time I've got to do what I can to find out how to cope with whatever's going on. Doctors can't help me if all they can do is give me some powder that obviously made things worse. Someday I'm praying that I'll be blessed with the resources to get real testing and treatment, but until then it's back to the diet drawing board. Right now I'm:
-eliminating soy, lactose, strong spices
-limiting fiber and tricky fruits and veggies [pretty much all besides the starchy types :(]
-stopped taking my iron
-coffee decreases [although it is one thing that helps so I'm not trying to cut it out]
I hope some of this is temporary [especially the iron and nutrient limits], but my priority right now is to heal so i can function, and maybe someday, have a life outside the bathroom and also get to enjoy some of the calories I need so much of!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Another Overdo update...

...or just procrastination method #203 for the day!

Seriously though, I do want to give at least a brief update on things--they're happening so fast I can't keep up these days, much less give a good report, but here's to bullet pointing some highlights:

LOVE the new job as a dietician tech [basically the one who interacts with the patients--educates them, works with the various meal plans and feeding types to make sure they get what they need]. Working in the hospital nutrition deparment couldn't be more interesting to me, and to describe my position sounds like someone making up what they think the perfect thing for me to do would be! I'm learning so much, love the people I work with, and love what I do.
Of course, adjusting is going to take some real work. 10 hour shifts starting at 7-8am means up around 5 to make the bus. This = misery and all around breakdown and emotional catastrophe's in every area of my life if I continue to stay up dinking around and eating past midnight!

School-trying to keep up. One stupid class/lab and of course all my appointments have been on Monday [it's a Mon/Wed class]. Combine that with my rough schedule adjustments and my poor time management and prioritizing skills, and I'm doing good to tend to any schooling business for a mere 10min a day! Of course then when I do that I give myself brownie points fo a bit of productive effort, and let the rest of the day whittle away...oh dear!
I am considering postponing the grad school another year. Partially my own fault for not being on top of my GRE like I should be, but that is one of many pieces that would be more or less "on hold" if I were to put in an application next month. Now that I have a job doing just what I love, I have hopes of continuing to move forward with the next phase in life, and not just stuck in the same rut [+ living at home] for yet another year. Postponing a year would give me a better chance at getting in with more experience, references, and GRE + classes completed. It would also allow me to save more $$ and be at least a bit less in debt--unless Imove out, but in that case I'd have that plus in the living situation.

While not "my ideal," it's definitely been rockin' lately! My energy has increased and my strength continues to gain [although I'm stuck on the pushups!]. On the elliptical I crank out my speed workouts at levels I couldn't push without serious pain a few weeks ago, and I'm running with a "real gait" now-my full recovery loops. Fast? No, but it's running, and it's improving.

I've also found a real little "family" at the gym, almsot like our lil exercise science/student athlete family that I miss so much from Grand Valley. Sure there are annoying people like that girl I talked about in my last post, but there are a whole lot more great people, teammates, and fun going on. In fact, days like today when I'm trying to take a day off between my class days [monday and wednesday] I feel lonely and just want to go see the gang!

With my "plan," I have stopped trying to find my "ideal criteria." Working with my body while using everything I've studied about training specifics, is what allows me to progress at the best of my ability.I'm learning better every day how my body works best. Whether it's taking complete days off between strength sessions, or the fact that I need to run consistently enough to continue improving, I'm learning what my body needs to give me the best results and most out of my triaining. Outside my control is that I am taking extra days off and missing workouts that would benefit me simply because of life. I'll have Thursday and Friday, and while I know most people can do a full time job plus their training, I'm still adjusting to this schedule and job and I know I'll feel better to just relax and call it quits by the time I get off. I do hope that in the future I can do the evening workout thing. Any tips on doing your workout later, especially after a long day, are appreciated!

I put this off until last because it's still a bit of a mess to sort through.
Good news is that when I went to my GI followup she did another round of blood tests, and my ferretin is out of the "abnormal" zone: from <0.5 to 8 in a matter of weeks! I'm still on the low end of the range, but it's headed in the right direction. That applies to my iron levels also--they're still abonormally low, but I've been told that takes time, and as long as I can improve I know I'll get there!
On a more negative note, my blood cell counts [particularly neutrophil] are still low. Haven't had any follow up on that, but it's enough to be concerned and my Dr. thinks I might need treatment from hematology--yet another medical cost I can't afford. :(

In terms of the GI conditions, not a whole lot new, but some possibilities. Without being able to do further testing, it's coming down to dealing with how my system is functioning and what I can do, outside of medical treatment, to improve it. Of course, this is what I've been trying to do for years now and things have only gotten worse. BUT I'm understanding more and more what's going on, and for that reason I hang on to hope for a better quality of life. One thing the GI Dr. did do was give me this powder to drink daily to help my upper colon. Apparently for whatever reason [IBD?] it isn't functioning properly, which is why I'm always "going to the bathroom" but never completely. I'll try not to get to gory, but I basically just deal with the tip of the ice berg, which is worse for me than not going at all [contipation--at least then I just wouldn't go!] or going too much [dirty-D--where at least I'd finally be voided!]. Anyhow, this medication is supposed to help the buildup that is "stuck" absorb water and move through. She assured me it's not a laxative, because I'm terrified of those! I know they can be addicting, and I tend to be very paranoid about any sort of medication.

All this brings me to nutrition. I'm hoping to experiment with real PROGRESS and not do too much extreme restrict this, force that, and then bounce to the other extreme. Ironically, my all or nothing thinking can be my biggest roadblock! This week I'm just going to see how the med-powder works, but also monitor my levels of soy [seems to consistently cause trouble in high levels], trace lactose [which I don't directly take since I know I have an intolerance there], and my levels of fiber and fruit/veggie intake. My guess is it's a matter of finding the ideal level for all of those. Like I seem fine with soy until I eat a major dose, like a cliff bar or over a cup of soy milk. And this last round of cutting out fiber has agan left me more miserable than ever until I had that first high fiber cereal--then suddenly things work at least BETTER. But then I binge on fiber or fruit or whatever, and end up with more problems. Now, how all this works with the new med-powder to help my colon function is a new thing thrown into the equation, which is why for this week [or more if needed] I'm just going to monitor how things go.
From there, my gameplan is to test out different levels of foods, possibly eliminate soy and dairy completely.
If that doesn't work I DO still think I may need to go through with a complete elimination diet to sort through and rebuild to what works for me. IF I DO then I need to be completey prepared, not just for the restricted part, but my system of testing foods and building--otherwise I just get frustrated and give up and binge on everything that was restricted [also likely problem foods] and end up even worse. No more of that! *any suggestions here also appreciated!*
One way or the other I know that I need to find what works for me--just like with the training, I an learn a lot from researching various conditions and experiences, but ultimately I can't just take someone else's "solved my IBS/Celiac's/whatever misery" diet and assume it will do the same for me. I've got to find out what my body will take and what it won't. Only then can I really get the value from the nutrition habits I strive to achieve, and the benefits that can results from them.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Misunderstood and Alone

It' been a tough fight to say the least, determined to overcome the odds and physical barriers and master my health [more or less without medical aid, for that matter] hasn't been tough enough, particularly lately without my beloved running and the 4000 calorie diet on a digestive system that turns itself inside out on me...
But I've been doing it, not perfectly, but at the very least I've heald strong on my ridiculously high intake [considering I should easily gain on a 2000-something diet] and actually managed to gain for 3 weeks consistently so far. I've also seen progress in my strength, and even my pelvis seems to be healing, all be it not allowing me to run much just yet.

Then days like today come along, and not only is it harder than ever to hold the fight [so much going on + extra bad GI issues]....but the accusations and judgements, which I know are ut there, become manifest--just in time to rub salt in my battle wounds.

This one girl is always pestering me about my weight. At first I thought she was just concerned, but that quickly changed. Apparently she used to have an eating disorder and hence is convinced that can be the only thing going on. She flatout called me a liar today, said she knew I was starving myself and in denial and went on and on and ended with "when you're reading to talk I'm here." [yeah right]
I want to point out that I do NOT look down on those struggling with eating disorders. I think that in general they are some of the people with the most quality, personality, and inner strength [especially once recovering in their own significant battles] on the planet-no joke.
The thing with this isn't that I'm hurt to being "labeled" wrong, it's more so the slap in the face after everything I've done. I mean really it doesn't matter if I eat 1500 calories or 4000--the point is I've got to do what I need to be healthy. But it hurts to have to fight so hard [it would take a lot with working organs to consistently eat that much!] and then have someone accuse me of just the opposite.
And I wish I COULD talk to someone about my struggles. But someone who understands or at the very least is open to let me be who I am, as contradictory as my situation is.
I don't understand it myself, how can I expect anyone else to?
But then...does the fact that it doesn't make logical sense have to mean everything I've done is a joke?

Ok, I'm starting to cry again so I'm going to stop there...sorry to whine again, but I had to get it out somewhere/how...

Saturday, November 1, 2008

November Begins...

I hesitate to post because [once again] I have no idea where to begin or even how to sum things up. Nonetheless, I want to update as November begins [and I have big plans for it and the rest of this year!], and before a crazy week kicks in [training for my new job working in the nutrition department at the hospital! ….and school midterm stuff –YUCK!] I’ll start by summing up the good/bad:

The good:
>My pelvis is feeling so good these days that I continuously forget I’m injured! I don’t gimp around or walk carefully, and in my strength training class I have to consciously make myself go easy on the legs because the exercises don’t cause any pain!
>I am getting stronger way faster than I new possible. Each week when I hit the lifting routine [I have two different routines I do on my own] whatever weights and reps I did last week feels like nothing! And it keep happening every week!
Also, I can cross train at progressively harder resistances on the same speed.
>These last two weeks I’ve managed to overcome my stomach ailments and malabsorption issues PLUS a lot of getting sick and taking a mega laxative for the biopsy/endoscopy…
...and gain [+ hold strong] a real pound!
I know it seems like nothing, but I haven’t really held on to weight gain in ages, and with everything going on I expected to be fighting a loss—even my mom warned me about how much weight I’d lose through the procedure. …or not—HAH!
>While I have a lot of work to do on my diet, it has improved dramatically. I eat 500-1000 cals more than I did when training twice as hard, and for the most part I’ve almost doubled my fat intake [something I need but don’t particularly crave—I’ve always been a carb addict, I swear I grew up on a 99% carb diet!].

The Bad:
>While I seem to be healing in every other way, my trial runs haven’t improved. I still can only carefully gimp out 3m at 11mpm as I gingerly gait in a way that involves the least pulling on the strained pelvis/groin.
>GI issues are still taking a major toll on my life. Not only do they make my fulltime eating job worse, but they hinder what I get out of it. It really messes with my time, my mood and self, and my reputation—all the way to things like my work and school!
>On that note, equally frustrating is the medical dilemma. So much that I need in terms of medical testing and care is off limits since I don’t have insurance. That goes for the injury, GI problems, and treatment for my newly diagnosed severe [alarming according to the Dr. I was able to see] anemia.

So…from there I guess I’ll move on with the latest bit of medical news—the anemia. I was surprised with this, as I always thought to be iron deficient one was chronically tired. If anything, I don’t sleep enough—although I do live a pretty sluggish life I suppose. In any case, it explains a heck of a lot about the frustrating end to the summer. Suddenly not seeming to be able to get my runs to where they used to be, much less at the level they should be with the kind of training I’ve put in.
The good thing about this diagnosis is it’s a straightforward fix [fill the iron deficit] and I can only imagine what I could feel like if I had even just half a normal ferratin level!
The bad is that it’s really challenging to actually make up the deficit, especially one as big as I’ve got, through diet and even a supplement alone. I really need treatment—ideally an IV treatment or two—or at least a prescription…and I don’t have that option due to finances.

So, to sum it up and skip a lot of saga the point here’s the scoop right now

I’ve been diagnosed as severely anemic [ferritin <0.5] with low white blood cell counts, progesterone, and follicle stimulating hormone [whatever that is!]. This, combined with [and most likely contributing too] another round of injuries, has led me to totally reset my training [just starting to run at all again, <10mpw, after a couple weeks off and deferring my marathon].
The physical issues I am dealing with in terms of anemia, being underweight, poor injury resistance, and possibly deteriorating bones, are not as “simple” as they may be for your typical underweight/malnourished runner. That is to say that in my case, eating properly and eating more don’t solve things for me. It take 2-3X the amount that should give someone my age, size, and activity level adequate nutrients, calories, calcium, iron, and so on to be in top physical condition. Yet I have the body of a starved anorexic.
This means that a vital part of long term health and my running future is dependent on getting to the root of this. Yes, I may be able to overcome for yet another come back, increase my iron, and even to force some weight on. But unless I get the underlying cause under control who knows how long that can last for me.

The main problem is what I noted about finances. I already ran myself broke for the original round of tests and have exhausted what Dr. visits were allowed before I have to start choking up $$. The endoscopy flopped [the prep didn’t work] and whiel I hope the biopsy might come up with something, the Dr. really wants me to go through at least a test where you swallow a pill with a camera on it to go through your digestive system. This is really important for identifying irritable bowel diseases. Furthermore, I need real treatment with my iron at the levels I am at—another thing off limits to me.

So anyways, I might as well stop moaning about what I can’t deal with and now focus on what I do plan to do.
Basically, it’s going to come down to lifestyle management.

1. With the GI issues, while I might not necessarily be able to cure a disease [unless it’s Celiac’s], I have learned that one way or the other I will need to find the diet that works with it. This goes with all conditions from gallbladder to diabetes, and mine being digestive is certainly no exception.
Hence, I plan to start a real elimination test/diet buildup that I go through with. I’m not just
winging it randomly this time. I’m preparing, seeking information, and setting myself up for real progress with it.

2. With my training, I absolutely have to keep my eyes on where I want to be vs. what I can do now. Not only to maintain hope, but just plain to make sure I do, or don’t do, what I need to now in order to get there. Right now this might mean cutting out what little running I’m doing altogether again, since it seems to be the one thing not improving. I hate to lose what little taste I get, but ultimately I want to be REALLY running as soon as possible.
I’m looking to 2009, and using 2008 to set up for that: where I want to be then—making sure I’m healthy, solid, and ready to progress to the “extreme running” I love so much—and to do it long term, not only not in shaky territory with my body, but with the kind of performance I really want out of it!

In specifics, here’s November’s Gamplan:

Exactly what I said with #2. I’m giving one more run a shot tomorrow, but then going to do whatever I need to get solid. Next week I plan to work what cross training and strength I can around how I’m doing physically—I am not setting criteria or expectations except that I want to do [or not do] each day what ever will best serve my future.

I am once again going for a solid 4000 kcals a day. Ironically, when I went on this mission last time I was running 80-90mpw, and I couldn’t hold that level. Can I really do it now? We’ll see…I think getting yet another 500+ calories on top of my recent 3500 average will ensure that I continue to overcome whatever I’m not absorbing [or burning off with a metabolism that seems to catch up and fight me on every increase] so that I can maintain the positive energy balance I need to hold—both to gain weight, and weight gain aside [because my Dr. said the energy balance was the key here—not the weight or even % body fat!], to allow my body to give me a period again [vital for my bone health].

In addition to the total cals, I’m continuing to work on increasing my fat, iron, and calcium intake. I’m also cutting out all the “diet treats” I enjoy [since my house is full of it with everyone dieting—hello kashi and light versions!], reducing fiber, and working on eliminating soy.

Next week I plan to start my diet builup/elimination testing. This week I am carefully monitoring possible triggers, although I have to admit the whole GI thing is such a mess right now I know that won’t give me any straight forward answers—which is why I have to clean the slate and rebuild my diet from ground 0, testing one thing at a time, to really find what works for me.

Before then I have time to prepare, set up my testing system, and also go to a celiac/food allergy and intolerance meeting next Saturday which will hopefully give me more insight, guidance, and support.

I’ll need all of the latter I can get! I have tried to do this a number of times but always caved—when I’m trying to force large amounts of food on an uncooperative system, I get sick of guidelines and just want to eat whatever. But in the long run, I know eating will be easier and even enjoyable if I can go through with this—now if only I can remember that when I’m not feeling the umph!

In any case, time to hit the bathroom and hope it’s as painless and quick as possible…then it’s 1000 cals more tonight to get Nov. 1 to 4000!
-->Which brings me to another big goal: TIMING!
I do NOT want the calorie increase to leave to even more late night cramming. It’s hard to eat 4K style all day, especially when trying to cope with GI issues and function…but it all becomes ten times as bad when I have to do this night binge thing.

Friday, October 10, 2008


So much for reasing back into running. :( I started out better than earlier this week. I could manage a cautious, somewhat gimpy, short-strided jog. Nothing to do much for my running, but what I hoped would be a step in the direction to rebuilding my running. Except that by the time I got to the end of our road the tugging had turned into yanking and I could barely move by a half mile.

Grrr…I hope that stopping instead of pushing even 1 measly mile keeps me from going too far backward. I probably won’t even be able to XT today, aside from my upper body weights.
D___: I’m missing the best running weather ever, not to mention the best part of my life, and rapidly losing all the pre-season fitness I build this summer! And all started with the logical idea that some recovery would help…hah, when will I learn that my body is NOT logical!?!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Update on the Unknown

I felt like I should post an update after my last couple posts, but honestly I still don’t have a lot of hard info.

GI stuff:
I won’t really know anything until some “real tests” are done, starting with the keys—an endoscopy, biopsy, and stool sample. Not fun at all, but I really need them done. ASAP I wish, but gotta wait 2 weeks for the test and then another for the resuts. #1 suspects are Chron’s or Colitis, and/or Celiacs.
Another prime suspect is more food intolerances. This could be a result of one of the above conditions or the sole cause of the malapsorbtion and constant prob’s. I keep failing my elimination tests that are needed to figure it out though. The start is so extreme that the restrictions as well as the new problems that arise from the extreme elimination part [like getting constipated from cutting out all my normal fibery grains and fruit and veggies!] always leave me giving up.
The elimination process is where you eliminate all possibilities and live off of gluten free grains, plain meats, and my lactaid or rice milk and then add things back one at a time to “test.” It sounds so nice and perfect until I go to do it!
I’ve also tried just randomly eliminating or limiting various suspects but my issues are so random and complicated that the whole thing is too messed up [literally] to come to any conclusions.

The leg-er-butt:
Since this phantom injury came out of nowhere when I stoped running I have been basically rendered me immobile. Didn’t even walk much for 2 days. Since then things have improved slightly—I was able to do some easy elliptical and strength work yesterday, and then a longer [but still so slow the old people next to me were going twice as fast] today with continued improved results. I can walk without a limp and I’m pain free now. I’m going to take it out for a trial run tomorrow morning…
What still frustrates me more than ever is that I was doing just fine until I stopped running! I was compromised, which is why I took time off, but at least I was running and improving!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Scared but Hopeful

I'm off to the long-awaited visit with the GI specialist.

After years of my normal Dr. kind of blowng off my constant "issues" and making me feel like a whiny baby for how they interfere my life [not to mention the consequences of malnourishment for me long term if something IS wrong!] I finally hooked up with some folks earlier this year who told me I'm the poster child for Chron's and Celiac's. After doing some research on my own I felt like I was reading my own story...after years of thinking I was the only one in the world who had problems like that, and even that most of it was just my OCD.

Anyhow, I have mixed feelings. I don't want something WRONG with me, but I DO want a solution. I'm praying for the latter, and hoping that the means of getting there is something doable and affordable for me.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Injured by Resting

After the race granted my plea to defer, I decided to take my recovery all the way. I stopped running and got off my feet—at the most extreme yet, despite the continuous cutbacks these past few months. Like I think I said before, I was improving and feeling much better a week ago, but still not where I “should” be. I really wanted to take advantage of this time, completely reset, and make sure I progressed all the way to my best potential, not limited by stuff I should have got over with and recovered from.

Anyhow, I decided to take a few days off, then go for a 3m run, and build from there [strategy mentioned at the end of my last post]. I haven’t run less than 6 miles [my recovery run length] in months, so it really was just more of a “warm up test run.” Well I finally got to this run yesterday, and it was mixed. The good was that I felt GREAT. I just wanted to SPRINT! The bad was that while most of the “reported” injuries were gone [on and off with my left pelvis, knee, and nagging shin splints], my groin overall was actually painful—enough to slow me down. I hoped that it was just a “getting moving” thing, and also that I was enough below the “threshold” to still recover despite my limited running.
However, things rapidly went downhill. I could barely walk the rest of the day, and the pain moved to the inside of my RIGHT pelvis. Still, I hoped it was all part of the process and headed out for test #2 this morning.
Words can’t describe my confused dismay. The pulling inside that right pelvis got to the point where I had to stop running altogether. Literally could not function. I have’t been THAT hurt since a stress fracture a year and a half ago.
And the worst part—ALL THIS AFTER RESTING.

Two weeks ago I ran a 20m run without any leg pain.
Last week I was getting stronger and faster every day playing it by ear [not making myself run more OR less] on 8-10m runs.
I decide to make sure I’m recovered all the way and now I’m BROKEN??!

I don’t even have words to describe how I feel right now.
Not just the injury—but the contradiction, the mystery.
WHY didn’t I just keep running?! I was doing fine until I slowed down…and stopping to “recover” was the breaking point.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The Decision

The Decision:
I decided not to run the Detroit Marathon.
A year ago, there’s no way I would have made a decision like this about my big race. But the thing is, my goal wasn’t to run a marathon. I signed up for Detroit because I wanted to race it.
After conquering the marathon at Bayshore + seeing what the distance was like and showing I could do it, I wanted to invest in my potential to improve and see what I could do in this race.
The way things are now, that’s not what’s going to happen. I’m 99% sure I could run it. I’m doing better all the time, probably in better condition than Bayshore to run such a race. But I don’t just want to run it. The point of running another marathon was to maximize my potential in my newfound ability to put in some real training, and race it—with time goals, splits, etc.

I’m impulsive and extreme, but I made sure not to jump to this conclusion. However, after weeks of thought over my options, I know if I want to run another marathon with the purpose of racing it and seeing what I can do with “real training” than I need to get to a point where I’m doing that—not where I’m “making it through.”
First though, I want to work on some shorter races. I’m excited with the opportunity to compete on a XC team as a grad student [since I red shirted some of m allotted "years" during undergrad], and training for 5K’s and 10K’s fits nicely into my goal to become a faster runner, getting stronger and improving my speed and power.

I’ve put a lot of work in this summer, and I still hope it wasn’t all for nothing. Obviously I’ve learned a lot, again—here I thought I’d finally figured out how to work best with my body by last spring! [Well, maybe I had….then I got sidetracked with my Pfitz plan instead of continuing with the working with my own signals and results—the very thing that made a frustrating injury saga turn into a rapid recovery and improvement beyond belief!]
But my prayer is that I can not only take what I’ve learned to do things “right” from here, but that once I’m more thoroughly recovered I will see some of the results of all the incredible fitness I built. It’s so hard to feel so out of shape now, and yet still do less, more than I have even BEFORE Bayshore [when I was “barely” training]. But I know that while running more now feels good, even keeps me in a momentary state of higher fitness, long term it compromises the kind of performance I can put out. I know I can get in cardiovascular shape, quickly. The real challenge will be having a solid foundation and proper progression so that I can be putting some higher level performances out of all that, not just being able to “run forever.”

The Gameplan:
So far I’ve played the last couple weeks by ear. Had some surprisingly good runs when I went out expecting nothing, but overall I’m still not completely reset. After a few nights low on sleep and a couple long(er!) runs in a row, my legs felt gimpy again and I took last night-this morning off, and I definitely feel ready to go this morning. But I am taking it all the way this time. It’s October—I’m reseting, building a base, and maximizing what I can get OUT of my training and not just peaking in how much I can train.
I’m calling this fall “Building the Foundation of an Elite Athelte, and October is specific to a full recovery so I am can build and progress without being held back.
One thing I have learned is that I CAN tell the difference between normal training quirks or nags that can be cured with a bag of ice, and real injury limits. I’m gong to use this in combination with everything I’ve learned about listening to my body to set up a system of recovery and rebuilding this fall.
I’m staying off the road until I can run injury-pain free [not just until it feels great to run and I can handle a steady pace]. Then I will start at 3, yes 3 [I can’t remember the last time I ran shorter than…6? Unless it was a double workout day…] miles completely strong and sturdy. From there I will build only when I duplicate the same mileage with continued improvement and no injury-pain onset. Once I get to 8-10 SOLID miles I will work in some beginning/intro speed workouts.
I do hope to maintain as much fitness as possible through cross training—but only when and how much so that it does not trigger the recovering injuries! It must be a help, not something that drags out my return to top level running training—and the performance/results that should go with that!
My main focus will be strength building. I need a solid foundation.
Coming through this “base building” I should be able to do leg work, power work, and my running workouts should not be limited by being injury prone. Whether I’m at 20mpw or 50, they will be miles adapted to my goal’s needs and training levels, NOT adapted to coping with a breakable body.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Weighty Issues

I think I mentioned on this blog about how I tend to gain weight when I'm running, and more weight during my peak running. I've concluded that it must have something to do with my metabolism getting more efficient with calories as I increase the demands--an inbred survival mechanisms.

Well, it sure doesn't seem to remember how to be efficient when the hard training lets up.
After less than a week of cutting back my mileage AND my evening trips to the gym, I promptly lost a couple pounds despite and increase in daily calories. No biggie.
BUT after taking a few days completely off, and a lot less milage for the last couple weeks, I lost another couple pounds....putting me about 5lbs under where I was at my peak weight this summer, even if only a couple pounds under where I seem to gravitate to.

I know it's not much, but I was too skinny to start with. Even at my "setpoint" I had the goal of gaining, although my body seemed to fight it. Whether or not this was a good goal or not, whether ever managing to gain weight would help or hurt my running [only questioned since I found myself running worse whenever I ate myself sick--and then my metabolism would speed up and I'd lose the initial gain anyways]....the one thing I DO know is that I can NOT afford to lose.
I definitely have to turn this trend around, running or not, and take it as far as I can. At LEAST get back to the point where I was strongest and running my best, and see if I can't manage to push it even further and possibly gain more strength, not to mention a solid, injury-resistant, foundation to hold up to my bigtime athletic dreams.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Improving my foodie-ness! :-P

Ok, so I've had a bit more time to prepare food today without classes or work [although I really should be tackling a mega to-do list!], but I have to admit, I'm quite proud of some *cooking* done[for me!] and *real food*, plust some new stuff than my norms...and just had to brag a little.
In fact, after reading blogs where my friends post pictures of meals, I wished I was more camera savvy this morning--I was so pleased with breakfast:

Oatmeal: oats [duh] + sunflower seeds, walnuts, dried blueberries, cinnamon
3 hard boiled eggs
milky coffee :-P

=not only something different [vs. cereal, bars, and cottage cheese--my norm!], but an athlete's powerhouse! Between the quality carbs in the oatmeal, vitamin E in the seeds, omega's in the eggs and walnuts, antioxidants in the apple and especially the blueberries, and a good dose of protein and healthy fats, I feel really proud of myself, even if there was nothing TRULY extraordinary about such a standard breakfast.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Fun Foodie Post!

Since eating is such a big part of my life, some of my little eating quirks and traditions are right up there with all the other habits and traits different people have in their lifestyles.
So I thought just for fun I’d post some of my fooding sorts of quirks…

Ø I love cereal. I eat it by the box unless it’s high fiber or has artificial sweeteners. But I have to have a MIX. I don’t like just flaky, just crunchy, just sweet. Something flaky + a fiber/crunchy cereal is my usual combo.

Ø While I like some of the strangest foods, foods that most people wouldn’t eat plain, and will try about anything, I’m not a big fan of the standard “favorites.” I don’t really like pizza, except for a nice thick crust [and no cheese!], and I’m not crazy about chocolate. As a kid I didn’t even like peanut butter!

Ø I hate leaving just a little bit left in the bottom of something. I don’t’ know how many times I’ve finished something, eating more than I wanted or something I don’t like/am intolerant of [from someone else] just because it bugged me to have a container with a few bites left.
[Ironically my family does the opposite—they have this crazy tendacy to get full suddenly with one bite left! Drives me nuts in a funny sort of way.]

Ø On a similar note, whenever I eat something creamy like cottage cheese, yogurt, or ice cream, I have to “scrape up the remains.” I always top these items off with some sort of bread or a banana to clean the container.
I’ve come up with some gross but tasty concoctions that way:
-melted ice cream + cottage cheese + bagel
-oatmeal + yogurt + tortilla and fruit
Ø I have a “system” when I eat where I like to follow spicey with sweet/creamy with crunchy/sweet. Or some sort of think like that. I won’t just eat one thing. I’ll do cereal to creamy to salty or a spicy dinner to creamy to snacky. And I like to end with something to drink to wash it down. Normally coffee or juice [though I prefer the dreaded Mountain Dew!] early on in the day, and warmed up lactaid milk at night.

Ø I think things to be either REALLY HOT or REALLY COLD. I’m notorious for sticking dinners, not long off the stove, in the microwave, and putting my apples in the back of the fridge or even the freezer.

Ø I like to top my meals off with a warm drink. When it’s too late for coffee, I’ll go for some warmed up milk of all things! This started back when I used to drink vanilla soy milk, in an attempt to make a vanilla version of hot chocolate. I soon discovered how soothing just plain warm milk was—and puts a nice filling cap on whatever I just ate.
To come: "Too much of a good thing Part 3: PROTEIN gone extreme"

[I wanted to keep these altogether, but have some other stuff I want to post before I have a chance to gather some of my research on this and sum it up, so I'm posting a space filler and hope to get back to it soon!]

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Too much of a Good Thing Part 2

Hypocalcaemia is the term used to describe too much calcium.
The more serious problems that can occur from hypcalcaemia include:
Ø depression
Ø dehydration
Ø kidney stones
Ø bone fractures
Ø sudden heart attacks
Ø calcifications [hardening] of the heart, lungs, and joints

In a less severe situation, excess calcium can cause:
Ø abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting
Ø constipation
Ø fatigue
Ø weakness
Ø excessive thirst and passing of water

The upper limit for calcium intake is 2000mg/day, or about 200% daily value.
Those at risk for exceeding this are typically ones who supplement a diet already risk in calcium. It’s a good idea to check any products, especially nutrition bars, you might eat, since these are often fortified with 10-50% daily value of calcium. It’s also a good idea to refrain from taking a calcium supplement if you already eat dairy and fortified products in your diet.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Too much of a Good Thing Part One

Those of us immersed in the world of fitness and nutrition are well acquainted with certain concepts. We think of certain things as “good, good good” and it’s easy to forget that there is in fact a point where too much of a good thing has a negative effect.
I’ve looked a lot into this, starting with realizing I was overdosing on vitamins by eating a healthy diet + fortified cereals and bars + certain supplements. Over the last year, I’ve learned that this concept of an “upper limit,” where instead of reaping positive gains you get a negative effect, applies to much more than vitamins. Here’s a summary pertaining to a few things we fitness freaks can easily get a little over obsessed with: fiber, calcium, protein, and even exercise.

Today we’ll start with Fiber:

We see all the healthy foods promoting their high fiber content. We see health ads promoting a high fiber diet. What we don’t realize is that the average American eats <20g of fiber a day. That’s less than a couple whole grains and you minimum fruits and veggies, maybe some nuts and beans. It’s less than a serving or two of the high fiber cereals, bars, and breads we nutrition freaks tend to consume. Combine a balanced diet with plenty of fruits and veggies, almost all grains being whole, some potatoes, nuts, beans, PLUS high fiber cereals and bars and you end up in an opposite extreme.
And yes, you can have too much fiber.
Consuming a daily average >50g of fiber on a daily basis can have several negative consequences:

Believe it or not, at a certain point eating too much fiber has and opposite effect. Instead of moving things along, it actually backs you up.

Gas, bloating, abdominal discomfort:
The label of this effect speaks for itself. All that fiber working it’s way through [or getting stuck in] your system gasses you up, causing bloating and abdominal discomfort—not to mention the farting!

Decreased nutrient and minieral absorption:
The fiber itself isn’t the only thing that passes through your system without being digested and absorbed. Iron is an especially important mineral for the active person [or anyone who doesn’t want to feel sluggish all day!] that’s absorption is hindered by a diet too high in fiber. This is because it is typically absorbed early in the digestion process, where too much fiber hinders that process. Insoluble fiber also tends to bond to calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus, preventing you from reaping the benefits of consuming foods rich in these minerals.

While typically not the sole cause, high fiber + low fat diets are a contributing factor to this condition. And while losing your period may sound convenient, the consequences can put a permanent end to your active life. Even birth control induced periods do not send the same signals to get your body to absorb calcium and keep you from ostepenia and osteoperosis—conditions that result in constant fractures, and bones crushing down until you’re a hobbling hunchback at <30 years old.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


For those of you [yay I have some readers finally!! :-D] who have separate threads on your blogs, how do you do it? Like having a link to posts specifically for workouts, food journaling, etc.?


Soooo after a couple 8 hour shifts after my training, and even a little trip to the gym afterwards the last two days......I was really being the extreme woman that I am, I couldn't settle to cut one thing out of the mix. Instead of a recovery workout and/or a day off work [and some sleep for once in my life!] I decided to go all out.
Not working, running, even doing my mini upper body strength today. Perhaps more for mental recovery than anything else, at least in terms of the extreme swing the other way when some swimming or strength would have been good physically.
Jussssssst lying around, eating, dinking online.

Well, it's working. Halfway into my day and I'm already going nuts! Boy will it feel good to get up and going tomorrow--no more dreading long days on my feet for a while!

Me at home all day + stock pile of Mountain Dew 2 liters = bad news!
That pop has long since been my nutrition weakness. I call it my addictive poison. Once upon a time I couldn't get through a day without 3+ cans. I actually went cold turkey and broke the extreme addiction, but living with my family now I've started drinking it again since it's always around. Still, I'm able to keep it under control for the most part, even going weeks without it as I focus on my nutrition needs as a serious athlete...
...and then there are times like now, with the 2 liters and being here all day...
Whoa bloated and jittery...and I thought I had to pee a lot before!!

Edit #2:
On a positive nutrition note, I had "time" to eat some veggies for the first time all week! O:-P

Saturday, August 23, 2008

CRIM race report!

Well, today was the “big race!” I didn’t really work my training to race this one [supposed to be a tune up/training race], but I actually wish I would have! Not only is the CRIM a big race nationally, but I really love racing and want to do it more frequently. While I realize I can’t peak for every single race, I do look forward to not having months of training for one race…and honestly had I reworked this summer’s training, even with the marathon at the peak, I would have altered it a bit to be at least minimally race ready for a few shorter races—especially a great one like the CRIM!

Overall I’m not quite sure how I feel about the race. I was planning to do it as a practice for my marathon, both the pre-race prep and the pace. I was a little off my marathon pace [slightly over 8mpm] which scares me a bit seeing as it was only 10 miles.
I realize the conditions were much worse than they will [should!] be for my marathon, but it was also less than half as far!

So on the positive side, I was able to race it despite fearing I was reinjured or overtrained. I also ran and recovered from it with less pain than I’ve had all week, continuing my bounce back from the peak training 100 mile week.
It was a hot, humid, and hilly race. We got a late start and I ended up missing my warm up and last minute Cliff Shot. I also am one week off my training peak of 100mpw, so while this week was more or less recovery and my legs feel better, I’m certainly not primed to race. On top of all that, while my pace wasn’t what I’d hoped for, it was a big improvement for me compared to where I’ve come from. Only months ago I was excited to do intervals under 9mpm, let along hold close to 8 average for 10 miles.

In sum, it wasn’t what I wanted, but it wasn’t a crash either. Looking at my training this summer as a whole, I’ve moved forward in net results. I continue to look forward and hope for better, but I’m making progress, recovering just when I think I’ve done too much, and continuing to improve.

I still need to improve how I take care of myself physically here—still realizing how much I could gain in that sense alone. Compared to Bayshore this was better: I did make it to bed before midnight and my intake has been more solid.
I still have major work to do on my sleeping overall, especially going to bed before an early morning race. I feel so great every time I run early—just imagine how that’d feel it I was running early AND had actually slept more than a couple hours!
I still need to time my intake much sooner, increase it overall, and figure out what types and proportions will keep my glycogen stores and blood sugar at their prime.

…and I can’t wait to get into XC season and race more of these kinds of races!
5K’s drove me nuts because I just got going and the race ended. With this sort of distance [even a 10K I think] I can really give it all I’ve got, but it’s not quite so taxing as a marathon where you put everything into only a couple races a year. Plus I get to work with a team again! That just tops it all. J

Let’s see if I can figure out how to do this picture thing…

5am—heading out the door!
Trying to get some extra zzz's...
Ready to rumble!
...and GO!!!
Coming in to the finish

Sunday, August 17, 2008

My first 100 mile week!

I’m not going to say this is high mileage or not, because that’s entirely relative. Elite athletes would say that’s nothing, and your average fitness runner would say it’s crazy.
What I will say is that for me it was a new milestone.
I would like to point out that I did not just randomly decide to run this much one week. I’ve been close for a while now, but I’m not quite so stupid as to exchange my long term goals [or the real results of the mileage!] for a stupid #.
“No one ever won the olive wreath with an impressive training diary,” right?
Still, I’ve been excited to hit the 100mpw mark for a while now. And it was harder than it seemed when I was “so close.” It amazes me how much different it feels than even the 80-90mpw level. Not gonna lie—I’m not in the condition to hold a consistent 100mpw schedule, much less the 100-120 range elite XC runners hold. But I’m getting there. One step at a time. Not doing more than my body can handle, yet pushing myself just hard enough as to what I hope will set me apart as a champion runner.

The next couple weeks are back down around 80. Although I’m still at the peak of my training, I have some races I want to be at least somewhat rested for, and less long runs until September.

Speaking of races—the big CRIM is Saturday! AHH!
While I don’t expect it to be a peak performance type of race, I do hope I can do decent. After all, this is a well-known and important race, with people who matter viewing the results. I’d like it to be a bit better than another training run on a new course!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Not freaking out yet [in theory!]

Overall today I'm surprised at how much better I'm feeling physically. I actually wasn't that sore heading out for my run as I'd been earlier this week, and I didn't have any DOM soreness like I've had lately. Then I had my best recovery run yet--actually felt like i was flying and had to hold myself back so I DON'T flop my next key workout!So I'm hoping I just need to give it a little time and let my body adapt to the new training [pool] and respond to the peak in mileage this week...

Not so tough :'-(

Pool running makes my legs feel “better”—however, the strength building it does is one of those deceptive workouts. It doesn’t feel taxing on my muscles or even very tiring, but I have noticed my quads feeling more sore, and kind of thick on my runs.
That said, it was actually better today when I took off for my tempo run. That surprised me—I was concerned about doing a tempo at all with my slow paces and thick legs lately.
However, this was the first workout that I actually quit. I feel awful. I felt ok, though I was going slightly slow, and I really was determined to make it. I told myself the purpose of this workout, even if I couldn’t hold the pace, was going to be to challenge my mental willpower and pain threshold—after all I’ll be hurting like that and worse at mile 20 of race pace!
But I lost it at 4.5m. I was hanging in there, even feeling more positive, when I realized suddenly I’d miscalculated and had 3.5 more miles, not 2.5 [I’d set out on a 6m path when I was supposed to have 7]. Combined with my legs feeling like concrete and feeling about to puke I decided to pull it in at 5m. Even then I clocked slower than my marathon pace.
Now I feel HORRID. Because of my bad run and even worse that I didn’t finish.
I used the excuse that I’ve added pool running and also didn’t take the real recovery days I was supposed to this week [with the excuse that ALL my runs were slow so I could run more], so it was reasonable that I wouldn’t be able to do all the workouts.
I know I made a mistake of not recovering right if that is the reason for today’s flop, but I still feel like I whimped out. After all, every run isn’t going to be “fun” if I want to run at an advanced level.
I should have pushed it with the attitude of a champion and not whimped out like that.

So far this makes for a crappy week, and I’m in a dilemma about where to go from here.
Are the runs challenging simply because I’m in peak training right now?
Or am I overtraining?
Not recovering properly?
Should I change something…or be tough and realize this is part of advance training.
Grr, I feel so lost. :-(

Monday, August 11, 2008

Pool Time!

...and my legs give a cry of thanks...

I finally got a gym membership!
Now only does this give me an indoor-running option for crappy weather [next winter will be a piece of cake!] but I have better resouces for my strenght training-AND A POOL!

My coach has really been encouraging me to get in the pool again [I haven't since I was forced to when injured] to help me hold up to higher mileage both with recovery and a strong foundation.My goal is to do some pool running and maybe even swimming 3 days a week this summer.

I went for my first dip today after a 2.5m recovery run. It's still not my favorite thing to do--but it feels SO good once I've done it!

After my next marathon I'm going to cut back on running mileage and do some real lifting, but until then I'm just going to stick to my easy upper body work and core because I just don't have the energy for the real stuff just now.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

*Rest* weekend

…or not so much. In terms of running, yes. I actually topped off my recovery week with a day off today instead of my recovery runs. But the sleep still isn’t happening—not even the 7 hour level that I usually do pretty well on [though could still use improvement!]. In this case though, I did have a good reason. I was out for one of my best friend’s [and old roommate—actually I saw the whole relationship come together!] wedding. This also served as a reunion for some of the friends I feel closest too. Nothing like staying up all night with the kind of friend(s) you can feel the most yourself around and share the most with. It was incredible…and I’m sad to be back.

Nonetheless, as of this morning I was feeling more like worn out dead[and rather stressed out] meat rather than “recovered” physically! However, after sitting/driving around all day today, plus taking a semi-nap [I lay down in bed for an hour!] I DO think that running will feel refreshing tomorrow. If there’s one thing I’ve learned it’s that as much as I have to listen to my body physically when it wants a break, the same goes for the mental aspect. When I get to the point where I’m kinda dragging, sometimes all I need is to just pull back for a while, even take a day off, and suddenly I remember just how much running is a part of me! Just a mini reminder of the miraculous gift I have to be not only running again—but training and pursing the advanced levels of the thing I love so much.
The passion I have had to fight so hard for, while so many deemed my running career at a hopeless and early end.

Saturday, August 9, 2008


Overall this is the main thing holding my recovery back—in general, and especially this week. I need to sleep. This was my main challenge at 7-7.5 hours/night, and now it’s even less?

This needs some serious work.

But I already knew that—it needs to happen. I have got to apply some objective work to improve my sleeping habits, right up there with my nutrition, so that I can really get what I’m supposed to out of the serious training I have coming up next.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Trying to keep up with my crazy body + sort the goals out

I weighed in this morning out of curiosity—since I knew I didn’t gain 5lbs in a week, plus I’ve been feeling better and more energetic, and hungrier—like I’m adapting to the big eating increase? And yikes—I’m right back to where I was before the gain. Huh??! I didn’t gain at ALL? Come on, at a week of 500-1000+ I should be up at least a pound, right? Grr.
Why does my body fight me so hard on this? Surely it wouldn’t mind having some more meat on it, even if still thin, right?

However, while I intend to continue working on getting my eating habits and intake to the level I need to both gain and support my training at it’s best, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about the system I’ve got going on here for my August nutrition goals. In my quest to really take this to the extreme bigtime I got so fixated on the details and lost tough with the actual goal behind the criteria: building peak physical potential and health.
Instead, I’ve been more or less creating myself a new unhealthy lifestyle. I was actually doing quite well staying healthy and improving performance, and while much stands to be improved yet, dedicating my life to eating 4000 calories [not that that still isn’t what I need or will make a way to get in] isn’t giving me the improvements I want. Instead, its leading to decrease in my physical state and lifequality—not to mention starting and unhealthy lifestyle of binging all night. My runs have suffered, my anxiety has increased, and I’ve lost focus on my real goals [the whole point of making nutrition criteria] in this obsession with my 4000 calories.

That said, I do need a system or I won’t get anywhere. I might be okay, but if I really want to improve my lifestyle, habits, and have the kind of diet to back up my elite athlete dreams, I’m going to have to train it. Just eating what I feel like or am currently motivated for won’t consistently give me what I need to really put on the weight and have a consitently increasing intake: even the higher intake days balance with being more full, and my weight just sticks where it’s at. I am a classic example of the “setpoint weight” theory as well as one of “old habits die hard.”

I have a few ideas how I might set up my plan—but it can’t all revolve around some one exact #. Even if I do use counting calories to get it in, I’m going back to the weekly average so I can work it around other things going on in my life. I think I am also gong to have to set daily minimums again, because otherwise I end up about the same 2000ish calories by my 9pm dinner, and I want to build my calories from that primetime point [before 9pm!]—which is where it’s hardest for me to do. I might set up some contingencies/reinforcement to help me with the time management aspect as well as serve as motivation—like I can’t have internet time or more coffee until I’m over a minimum! This way if I have to run to work before I’m done with lunch, so be it—that’s life. But I can’t just get lazy and dink my days away because I’m “full for now.”
In other words, I can flex for my real life, but not just stick to old habits because that’s what I’m used to—I want better!

If I want to go that route [training by calorie counts] I hope to have such a “retraining system” in action by next week. First though, I want to start a different “training” step. I’m going to give a sort of exchange system another try. I’ve tried it before, and ended up getting way to frustrated with the limits of trying to figure out exact protein, carb, fat, etc. values. I felt it was too much thinking and obsessing. The thing is, if I want to retrain balance and diet makeup in addition to totals anyways [see goals in previous entry] this might be a better way to do it.
My system would be more flexible than your typical exchange system. I’d have a total exchanges, with ranges of carbs, proteins [milk counts as a protein], and fat to fill the total exchanges with. Fruit and veggies are unlimited [Even someone not trying to gain shouldn’t have a quota on those or something screwy is going on!], but I would track my totals just to get an overall idea of how much I’m eating and keep my goals of getting the nutrients I need in, in addition to my core-calorie groups.
With this sort of exchange system I don’t have to work my life around getting an exact type of food in every day—just as long as I get all the exchanges in with a breakdown in the target ranges I would keep my total intake at a level where it needs to be [but not necessarily one exact number] plus have a more appropriate makeup. I feel like I can do the latter with basic overall goals {I know how much protein I need and what a good balanced meal looks like], but until I really train and practice that it won’t happen.
This is just the first step—once trained and practiced I can go to more freedom with a look at the big picture, being used to the kind of balance that provides me with the best results.

A note about timing:
My day off work really made me realize that a lot of my struggles with getting calories [at least the EXTRA calories—I can have an above average meal, just struggling to get the 4000-level breakdown early on] truly does come down to the time constraints of my life. Allowed to just wolf down my post-run cereal to my hearts content, continue with protein and whatever else until full, and then grab something else to eat whenever I wanted [vs. the restrictions on the job] I had no problem working with my appetite to eat a lot more sooner.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Evening run surprise!

Tonight was my best evening run yet! I’ve gotten better about those lately—my legs don’t feel so stiff and lead-like, but I still really just love running first thing in the morning.
One major thing I struggle with is that once I start eating my stomach goes downhill for the rest of the day. This makes getting through even a couple miles of recovery jogging an uncomfortable nightmare.
Well, low and behold—a lot of that may have to do with my timing! Today I had an hour + after my second lunch before I went out. Normally I have to eat *right* before an evening workout—a habit I got into back when I used to do cross training and weights after school. My stomach just can’t take it running, but I always fear running out of fuel. Well, ust like my extra late night meal gives me DIGESTED fuel for a strong morning run, so does sufficient eating through the day before an evening run—even if I don’t eat RIGHT before. Seroiusly, my stomach felt as good as first thing in the morning! Combined with my refreshed energy and legs feeling like wings again and it was hard to stick to my mere 4 recovery miles. :)

Primetime Running

Today showed me once again just how much of a morning person I really am at heart. I
had to get up at sunrise to get my run in before an earlier shift at work, and despite being my third night in a row on less than 6 hours of sleep it was my best run yet. This has happened to me repeatedly: I think it’s going to be a tough, tired run due to less sleep, but I always feel better running early! Even better than nights of solid night’s sleep where I don’t get up and going until 8am or so. Obviously the ideal [my goal!] is to get the sleep I need STARTING SOONER so am not so sickly fatigued + not recoverying properly—by going to bed sooner and getting up and running at this time consistently. I can’t even imagine how great I’d feel running in my primetime WITH adequate sleep!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Bigtime Eating for August Week 1

So, after managing to gain about 3-4lbs in June, I’ve pretty much maintained through July instead of making steady progress towards my goal weight [still 10lbs off!]. My intake increased slightly, from an average around 3000 to in the solid 3000’s, but it wasn’t enough to really gain.
For me [especially when my metabolism kicks in after each increase] I have to not only eat bigger than my recommended amount as well as the “norm,” but also push it past fullness—even when I’m getting my calories in the densest ways possible.

In any case, I got frustrated and changed my mind about the whole “progress to 4000 by Labor Day” and that extreme thing in me took over and I was like “August is not going to have one day below 4000!”
And, as is typical when I get stubborn and determined about something, I haven’t given in even when it proved to be a lot more challenging [physically regurgitating and stomach exploding] than I’d imagined.

I weighed in this morning and was up a solid 5lbs! Holy moly! Part of me paniced—as much as I want to weigh that much and more, the whole purpose is to be in my best physical state and I know gaining too fast can be just as unhealthy as crash dieting to lose weight.
However, when I think about it logically, even though I am taking in extreme amounts and did to an extra big increase, it still only amounts to less than 1000 extra a day, enough for a “real” 2lbs at best, and my goal is an average of a pound a week, with 2lbs on the initial kickoff being perfectly reasonable [room to adapt and adjust]. Hence, I plan to continue mission 4000 through the week and see where I end up next week before I make any adjustments. I can give my body a chance to adapt as well as seeing what’s “real.” Next week I’ll have a caloric average for the week based on where I end up. If I’m still progressing at 2+ lbs a week I can be a littler more relaxed about the stuffing myself—maybe still shoot for 4000 but have a 35-3700 daily minimum.
We’ll see where I’m at—for now I’m holding strong and steady.
And hopefully applying the same stubborn willpower to retrain the TIMING of this new level of eating:
This is the more truly concerning issue in terms of healthy habits and results now is that I am doing a massive amount of eating late. Yes, I have made some significant improvements earlier—I’m not adding a full 1000 calories late—but I am still leaving a good 1500 calories after 10pm. That’s my target time to have only a bedtime snack [even an 800 cal one!] left, not just to be getting through dinner with 1000 left to have once my stomach is partially recovered from exploding…only to end up going to bed equally uncomfortable. This type of habit is something I detested and shudder upon when I look back at my college gaining. I don’t want to gain this next 10lbs the way I did then.I know I can do it healthier and with better physical results and life in the process if I pace myself better—a LOT better!
My Nutrition Goals and Objectives this week:
Steady Adaption: Hold strong at 4000 [40-4200 range]
àNext week set target range/average based on next week’s weighin after steady at this level
Timing: Apply stubborn determination to overhaul my eating pattern
Makeup: Balanced for best results, GI function, performance + makeup/rep of bigtime dt

>Protein: 100-130g [150 max] àPlenty to build w/o kidney stress or hinder energy and function
>Fat: ~120-150g [=25-30%]
>FR/V: 5-6/3-5 *Include dried and dense for top setup and best function!
>Carbs: power foods! àFill up extra calories for my kind of diet!
Gameplan: Focus on meeting needs + bigtime filler $$ with happy foods

My Challenges will be:
My stomach problems:
I can’t wait to get into that specialist and start figuring this one out! It would be SO much easier to “just eat” if I didn’t have constant pain and discomfort and bathroom issues making it hard enough to eat a normal diet, much less a gaining one.
Time [+ poor time management!]:
Aside from sucky habits, that’s honestly the main thing that keeps me stuck eating too much too late. I eat a few bowls of cereal, my eggs, and wolf down snacks in the car and STILL end up late for work.
Plus I get anxious to do stuff I need to do and sick of eating all the time…then come nighttime all I do is eat all night anyways so it doesn’t really save me any time. If I could get on a good schedule I’d have my evenings as well as better results.

Here goes…can I take this all the way??!

Saturday, August 2, 2008


For starters, I MADE that infamous 4000 calorie target I’ve been aiming for or “building to” all summer happen last night. Oh I was going to base targets off of my weigh ins, build to it by Labor Day, etc. But sometime last week that tenacious extreme thing in me took over and I just said SCREW it—August first is my eadline. August is going to be not one day under 4000! I don’t care that I gained weight in the low 3000’s last week—I want my top notch lifestyle. I want the most out of my demands. I don’t care about the big jump—heck knows all those extra calories go to good places. Come Sept. I’ll either have the infamous metabolism catching up yet again [I’m already double what I should supposedly need at my size even if extremely active] or I can adjust from there. All I know is I cant go wrong with too much at this point—every calorie has a valuble place in my weight, healing, and my training, repair, etc.!
Still, the logic of it is easier than the action. My stomach rebelled, time rebelled. Doing it on top of my bathroom training [always holding it] and with #2 Problems [constipated, stuck, very uncomfortable] made it so eating isn’t “just eating” for me. And here I am trying to eat double time!
But I did it. Stuffed, bloated, and up way too late it happened. I put my mind to it and did it.
Now I just have to continue training the makeup and timing. I have to admit, while I did get 1500 calories in after church [post-10pm] I had also made some dramatic improvements during the day—aka I didn’t add all 1000 calories late. Nonetheless, I need to retrain so I’m rocking with bigtime input from start to finish! Main issues being TIME and TUMMY. L

Today was my first run at marathon pace. Now this was a test of my mental toughness more than anything else. I have a tendacy to want to quit when I don’t feel like I can make my goal. I find it easier to “clean the slate” and start over then “let myself down.” I know though that the onl way I can ever reach my lofty goals is to be able to persevere no matter what. Hence, coming off a slow week, running on a bad night’s sleep and a messed up tummy in still-hot and humid conditions, I told myself that even if I wasn’t capable of running 12m at marathong pace this run had an important purpose: I would train myself to be mentally tough and finish my run.
I wanted to quit when my legs didn’t feel right warming up.
I wanted to quit when I didn’t think there was any way I’d hold that pace for 4 more sets of 4 miles.
I wanted to quit when my LEGS were quitting on me between miles 8 and 10.
I wanted to quit because I felt like even if I DID get through 12m, there was no way I could do that twice.
Everything in me said “start over!” Reorganize and plan your training and do this right!
But that’s not my problem. I need to overcome the compulsion to quit out of the fear of not making my goal.
And I did.
I finished my run. Ironiclly, right about on pace, plus a second or two. The run still made me more nervous about my race because it WAS so hard to run that fast for 12m that I can’t imagine doing that twice + 2 more miles.
But you know what? Back training for Bayshore I remember my first 16 miler. Oh, it was a thrill, but it terrified me. There was no way I could run another step, much less 10 more miles. That was the first day of real respect for the marathon for me—the day I realized I did have my limits and couldn’t just “run forever as long as I don’t have to run fast.” In any case, point is: I did the run and came out scared because the 16m was all I could do.
Today I am scared because 12m was all I can do at 8mpm.
But I know if I continue to be tough about doing what I need to do—my training and habits [sleep and time management are going to need to be tackled as hardcore as intake!] than I CAN run that pace for 26.2.

Pre-marathon pace run Anxiousness

Friday, 8/1: First MP Coming up =bad timing?

So tomorrow is my first marathon pace semi-long run [on a Pfitz plan] and I'm SCARED!On week ago I was so excited as I had trouble holding my long run pace slow enough.This week has been entirely different though, and I haven't even been able to hold my target paces as opposed to wanting to run faster.I don't know if it's the extra heat and humidity, general fatigue, or what, but I don't feel ready to hold 8mpm for 12m when I couldn't even stay under 9mpm my last two medium long runs.

July Notes

I'm back in training now, hoping for a BQ in my October race, so I'd like to jump back in with some blogging reports. I'm following Pfitz now, determined to STICK TO IT after having injuries and slowing paces starting to snarl when I got carried away with adding a mile or two here and there. Today was a recovery day, 7 this morning and planning on 3 tonight. I also did some push ups and hip strength to work on the fundamental strength I so badly need to really hold up to some advanced training!

7/10/08: Yay…uh oh!
13m medium-long run for me today. Started out the best run yet. My energy and strength just keeps getting better this week. Even better, my legs are back: the calf strain from last week and recent hip issues were pretty much nonexistent, and I was raving for 11m about how much a difference for the better I felt after my 3m recovery jog last night.

Then suddenly at 10.8m something popped right where the old calf strain was and I could barley plantar flex my foot. Being stuck 3.5m away from home, I walked around a little then started a very gimpy jog back. It loosened up some and I made it in with less pain than the get-go, but I’m SO frustrated—I was just feeling strong and sturdy and now I’m back to the land of ice, gimp, and worry. L

7/11/08: Just ROCKIN! J
Why did today have to be a recovery day??! Holy cow, I felt STUPENDOUS! Pain gone + best energy and strength. I wanted to run fast and forever….so painful trying to keep it at recovery pace and cut myself off at 6m. I’m saving it for my long run tomorrow—can’t wait! J

I also tried my new Hammer’s Core work DVD. It seemed way too easy, but every time I try and do lower body strength work I end up quitting because it aggravates old injuries before it can help prevent them. Hopefully using this DVD can help keep me from overdoing it yet still building that fundamental strength I need so bad!
There are more advanced circuits to be tried later. ;-)

Saturday, July 19, 2008: Strong legs already??!
This week has gone surprisingly well considering I expected to be DEAD after art fair with work. Basically working has been more hours and on my legs more…I did cut out my 2-a-day workouts so that helped. The biggest thing has been my sleep schedule, which already sucks, got all that much worse this week with the later hours. I was rarely in bed more than 6 hours. So combine the lack of sleep with long days + the most humid week yet and I anticipated some struggles with my runs…

As it turned out, my workouts this week went alright. Nothing that stood out, but steady and strong. Plus, my legs are feeling worlds better than the last couple weeks! Hammer’s Core is more leg stuff [easy though] than abs, and I keep thinking my old injuries will hurt because of it, but I always feel even better the day after a little Core session!

My long run today really stood out. Legs felt so much better than last week. I was also feeling better in general, and here I was worried I’d have to call it off after this week at work!

Thursday, 7/24: Fatigued?...or not!
I started out the week feeling the exhaustion I’d expected last week—but that soon gave way to some of my best runs yet! Yesterday’s pm recovery run was a breeze—so much different from the thick dead legs and long miles that my original evening runs felt like.
Today’s tempo was spectacular. Here I was concerned if I’d even be able to do a tempo this week, and it was my strongest one yet—and longest.
I’m getting POWERFUL! I was going faster with less effort.

Ironically, Pfitz had me schedule for an extra recovery day earlier this week [Sunday and Monday recovery instead of just Sunday], one less medium long run, and my tempo workout later. Funny how that all worked out and I was recovered and strong to go today!

The only nagging issue now is my legs are hurting more than last week [ligaments, shins, hip]—not bad, but likely a delayed response to my mileage peaking at 91-92 last week.
But I know as long as I stick to my plan and TAKE CARE OF MYSELF now, I will recover, adapt, and be ready to move on to stronger and better! [easier said than done sometimes]

July Week 3:
Strong, fast, and powerful! [notes in training log—didn’t have time to journal]

Physical Goals

My primary physical goals involve nutrition and sleep [duh?]. I have found more than ever how vital my nutrition habits are, especially in marathon training! I went from being the skinny kid who ate anything and everything to now being very stubborn about making sure I meet my needs. I know when I am training at this level it makes a big difference when, what, and how much I need--and I can't always trust my feelings to guide me into the kind of eating that pays off in my training. I have bounced around in various types of meal plans, but keep coming back to basic calorie counting [to make sure I get enough--not restrict!] with some other goals [protein, fat, timing, etc.]. The biggest difference is in my performance and health. My body’s pretty good about adapting to maintain the weight [on 2000 calorie differences in energy balance!] but when I don’t eat right I get hurt, sick, don’t reap the full potential out of my training and [obviously] perform under par.

Sleep is a tougher issue for me. On this one I can’t so much report how much it helps because I have very little experience with actually getting enough sleep to compare! I do know that I went from an all-over-the-place sleep schedule two years ago, going to bed any time from 3-5am and getting up 7-10am, and feeling exhausted and deflated from the afternoon on; to last year at least having a relatively consistent schedule of going to bed between midnight and 1am and getting up at 7-8am. I had a major difference in overall zest for life in addition to my athletic performance.
I probably don’t even know how good I good feel just to get a solid 8 hours a night! Heck, that’s recommended for your average person, much less someone pounding her body to the ground [needs extra recovery time].
I am also a morning person, feeling and doing my best [and most] in the early hours—even when I haven’t had enough sleep. My poor time management skills and the people around me influence me too much and I continue to stay up too late for my liking and best kind of life, but I am determined to get back on the early schedule where I thrive.
Dedicated runners get their rest and recovery, and for the most part go to bed early. Some how, some way [and yes, I need to pin point that or it won’t happen] I need to do that too.

Mini Introduction

I am a 23 year old Exercise Science graduate, certified by the American College of Sport’s Medicine as a personal trainer. I love working in the fields of athletics and fitness and have realized I am especially passionate about the Nutrition aspect, so I am currently pursuing my master’s degree in Nutrition and hope to become a registered dietician as well.

To say I am athletic and love to run would be an understatement of gigantic proportions. I have been involved in competitive athletics for as long as I can remember, but only after overcoming a series of hopeless obstacles in my teenage years have I discovered just how much a part of my nature this “athlete thing” really is. I do not believe that running is all there is [for me] in life, but I HAVE found that running makes EVERYTHING in life that much better.

My return to running has been a resurrection of my soul. The countless battles to make the comeback have taught me to appreciate the running I am now blessed with as I continue to tenaciously pursue my bigtime dreams.

After making my official return to running last year, I was bitten by the marathon bug when a couple of my teammates ran one last fall. Hence I put myself full force into training for Bayshore marathon in May, 2008. It wasn’t an easy journey, but it was an overcoming story of it’s own to top off my comeback.
I ran the race in 2:43, steady pace and negative split showing that even with the limited training I had been able to put in [at least in terms of actual running] I had a good base. But I was 3 minutes off Boston, so I couldn’t stop there.
I am now preparing for the Detroit Free Press marathon, with the hopes of a BQ.
From there however, I think I might go back to some shorter distances, particularly the 10K. As I take classes and prepare for grad school I am taking the opportunity to compete with a team again [YES!!] as well as race more and save my body a bit with the shorter distance focus.

All in all I have some bigtime dreams, and this blog reflects my journey as I create my own “Olympic Training Center” and work to build the physical body and performance results of the elite athlete roaring within me.