Reasons Why my Unicorns aren’t Farting Rainbows*

*Note: No Unicorns were harmed in the writing of this post. Their digestive tracts are just fine.*

It is apparently warming up this week.

A friend informed me this morning that it might rain. Ok, warmer weather means I might be able to get out and run, but rain? Come on now, is it too much to ask for non-freezing eyelashes AND sun? Obviously not. *grump* It has been a long, long, long cold and snowy winter for us here. If I have one more day where I am chilled to the bone on my legs and extremities by the time I get to work, but sweating inside every building I go into before I can take all the winter layers off… Well… Seriously, I don’t know what I’ll do, but it may involve foot stomping and fist-shaking.

In reality, I do not do temper tantrums very well. I’d be better served simply adhering Bitchy Resting Face™ and retreating into self-administered alone time on the bus until I feel as if I have stewed long enough over things I cannot control. *mumble* stupid Polar Vortex *mumble* living where air hurts my face *mumble* have you seen my stapler *mumble*

I had intentions of running last week and it did not happen. At all. I even put it out there to my fellow running friends, and… the Sabby Machine ran outta gas. I did not go. Why? I didn’t make it a priority. I couldn’t find the energy or time.

I didn’t want to.

I have not run in a month now. I haven’t yearned for it once, and haven’t had the energy to even contemplate it some days. It seems weird because I love it so much (and feel like I miss the idea of it, most days), but the thought of putting on all the clothes to go out the door and run makes me just sit right back down on the couch, grab my iPad, flip to a random mind-numbing, addictive game, and go “ugh”. Don’t even get me started on going to the gym to run on a treadmill… the few times I have, I have walked away and quietly cried in the shower afterwards because it felt so terrible. It hurt, it felt wrong, and it was hard as *^&% to simply just keep moving.

The one highlight of this was the running I did in January was wonderful, and the track workout I attended was really, really fun. New shoes work, it felt good to be active, and then… The bottom fell out.

I have a race in April. It is almost March and the last long run I did was 8k, which is half the distance I have to cover at the end of April. I am seriously thinking of selling my bib, or giving it to someone who wants the challenge. I will NOT be ready in time to run the whole thing. The idea of running a race, any race, is so exhausting I just don’t think about it. Or when I do, I stop because it leads to me being a Negative Nelly about myself because I am not pushing my fitness like every single other friend around me and how dare I even call myself a fit person anymore when I have gained ten pounds since Christmas and… *deep breath*

…Let’s not get into that whole “Inner Critic-Shut, Up!” business today. I feel like I have beaten that into the ground with the “Be positive! Be ready! You can DO EEEEET!” and I am tired of that, too. I have drained the bank with positive self talk, uplifting imagery, reminders of past accomplishments and all that stuff, but it does not matter when you have no motivation. No get-up-and-go. No power. Add life/family/work stress and WINTER… And that cocktail knocks you on your arse every time.

There are no words to describe how much I am looking forward to going to Britain in three weeks. They have Spring grass, even if it is temperate and rainy (and, I hope, receding floodwaters soon, dear friends)! GREEN GRASS, PEOPLE! *gasp…wheeze*

Finding the time to go has been hard too, for a multitude of reasons I won’t go into here, cuz really, we all deal with it and some of it is way personal, yo. After an “in the kitchen” chat with some girlfriends not too long ago, I detailed it all out. Cheaper than therapy, people. Find yourself a group of like-minded women (or men, y’all talk about this stuff when watching the game, right?) and throw your problem to them. They can sometimes see things you can’t. It can also be super intimidating to do, and it was scary to be in that group and having them tear my problems to pieces. I look up to these women. It was hard to let them see my failures. Some ouchy things were said (in a loving way) and it was good in the end, because I sorted out some *&^%. It was a tough evening, though. I got home and had a really big, messy, sobby sob-session. I didn’t even take off my makeup, so you can imagine what I looked like after that. *screams in terror*

The other factor that has kept me from physical activity in the past month or so is pain. Good old fashioned aching, hurting, creaking, tottery pain. I did not understand exactly why I was in pain until I saw a doctor last week.

I haven’t talked about it (especially around Husband who would just tell me I needed to get back on the exercise train. He has no motivation issues with his regime because Crossfit). I felt like maybe the pain was indeed the byproduct of not moving much (wasn’t convinced, I walk quite a bit every day to and fro work, from the bus etc). But doing a squat brings pain into my knees that lasts. Doing push ups makes my shoulders make that “poik” noise with each rep and ache for a day afterwards. Waking up and moving in the morning is a shuffle, then a slow hobble until I can actually open my eyes. If I sit for too long, I look like the Tin Man after a rainstorm when I walk. let’s not talk about Bad Bus Driver rides where I have sore arms from holding on. After my track workout, my abs were still quivering piles of ouch five days later, and I couldn’t lift my arm above my head for three on one side (aka: pulled somethin’-somethin’ in that there side muscle). My hands swell up like balloons if I do too much typing.

I know. Typing.

Don’t laugh. But y’all, it is my job. I’m a writer. Do you have any idea how much that sucks? I keep ice packs in the freezer at work to rest my hands on at regular intervals.

I have been living on Motrin and sometimes Aleve to ease the overwhelming day-after-day-after-day pain. I felt like I was falling apart, and thinking I was going to be dealing with this permanently. It was a new “normal” and it was, well… Depressing. Energy sapping. Etc. See above. Taxes and shipping are extra. Results not typical.

I saw my doctor earlier in the month, and he put me on a sleep medication that has been helping in a big way. Sleep is a wonderful thing, no? Then, last week, I saw another doctor and mentioned to her that the constant ache and pain was really wearing me down mentally and emotionally, on top of everything else. She put two and two together and went “Well, likely it is because you are depressed.”. Errr? Ok… Explain.

Apparently, with Seasonal Physical Depression (think similar to Seasonal Affective Disorder, also known as SAD), body aches and pain are magnified, and sometimes a symptom of. Clinical depression can also cause such aches and pains. It has very little to do with not moving. It has nothing to do with exercising too hard. Sometimes exercising can bring it on worse, even (think DOMS + emotional/mental struggles = feeling worse). It can also suppress your immune system. Wait… What? *atchoo*

So cue the rolling snowball. Not wanting to move because it hurts, having no energy to move, feeling worse about yourself because you aren’t moving, then dealing with the hurt when you break down and move because you browbeat yourself into it… And if the real reason (depression) is not being addressed…

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Armouring

I think I may be on the injured list, or about to be.

I was doing fire hydrants at Yoga on the Hill, grimacing in pain as my left hip protested the stretch. You aren’t supposed to grimace during yoga, right? Pigeon hurt like a %^&#er, and any opening of the hip was met with trepidation. I was limping by the time I got back to work.

I realized, right then, that I need to see someone about this damned joint. Rest, stretching, some physio exercises, anti-inflammatories… They aren’t workin’. Subsequently, my right foot and shin are getting stingy sore again. Walking on my right toes hurts, and this morning I could barely flex my ankle down, the strong, tight, stingy feeling travelling up from under my second toe, into my knee on the inside of my shin. Walking to work sucked this morning, yo. Also? I have one ear that is blocked, I can’t hear out of it, my left shoulder hurts, and my right thumb is aching from trying to open my coffee mug this morning to clean it.

Aw, %*&#, man… Gimme a break, yeah?

I did some reading (last night) on foot pain, Diabetes, and joint imbalances. I know there may be a correlation, but I have chalked them up to my training, not my disease. My sugars are mostly under control, right? So it can’t be the disease…

I found this link, which I have verified elsewhere, but is the best explanation. https://nfb.org/images/nfb/publications/vod/vodsum0403.htm. So, I took my blood sugar. I had an ok dinner, followed by a tbsp of peanut butter with chocolate chips rolled across it only an hour before I tested. I figured that might put me a bit high, but not unusually so. Maybe a 10…

17.5. Wow.

So I took it again this morning before eating anything.

10.4. Eep. This is NOT normal for me, folks. Not at all.

I think it may be time to check my levels more frequently again. Last week I felt like crushed dung (maybe I should have been checking then? I am being lax in my self-care), and this week I have been a bit draggy, but more back to normal. Could my disease be rearing its head again? I have to admit, I am a bit scared if this foot pain is associated with the disease. My sugars have been fine when I do check them, but is it enough? Am I still getting worse? Should I have stayed on the Metformin, even though I hated it and it made me feel like a friggin’ yo-yo with hormonal issues, lurched my stomach around, and made other digestive processes really, really unpleasant?

*cue what if’s and nervous speculation on my inadequacies*

And of course, my doctor is on vacation until next month. Great.

On a positive note, I have managed to be active every day this week so far. My kettlebell class felt a bit easier this week, I did not feel like a beaten horse the next day. I think scaling down to the 8kg weight was a smart move until I am more acclimatized to the level of the workouts, and I am ok with that. I can move up when I am ready, no one is forcing me to fling hero weights around! The workouts are hard enough, let me tell you. I am a dripping, soggy, nasty, pukey mess at the end, and there is no endorphin high from it. I am exhausted.

I like the class, and am enjoying it, but if is what my husband feels like after Crossfit, I want no part of that world. Yuck. I can push myself in other ways without the torn skin on my palms, chalk rash (I am slightly allergic to chalk), or DOMS from the underworld.

Our instructor keeps threatening burpees, and I am still trying to figure out a way to politely decline doing them. My hip would likely crack open and I would collapse, one-legged and comatose. Burpees hurt right now.

So today I am going to try a run, tape up my toes and go. Light, taking my time, and if it hurts, I am going to stop. I’m also going to start carrying my test kit around again. *sigh* Time to put my armour back on. If the Diabetes Beast is back, and I have various aches and pains because of it, and I need to get this *^%& figured out.

Breaking Point

Warning: Apology in advance for a whiny, sad, woe-is-me post today. I wanted to share and be honest with y’all.

The other night, I was lieing lengthwise along a rumpled body pillow, using a pink, overstuffed sheep for a pillow, somewhat (read: not very) covered with a Winnie The Poo blanket, on the floor of my daughter’s room. One hand was up on her bed, my index finger grasped firmly in her tiny little hand. If I even tried to move, protests and squirms emanated from above me.

As I lay there, wondering how in $#%* I was going to function the next morning, I realized how ridiculous my situation was. My hand was asleep, there was something jabbing into my hip (turns out it was a wood block under the pillow) and I was freezing cold, having stumbled out of bed half-awake when she woke up, not wearing my jammie bottoms. It was 3 AM, I had a run to do the next day with Run Club, and once again, I was getting no sleep.

It ended up being an inside running kind of day the next day (skating rink roads!), and when I was done, I sat in the sauna, completely drained after only 3.5k. I felt morose, sorry for myself, and frustrated. Thank God I was alone, because I dissolved into messy tears while I sat there, slumped against the wall.

I was frustrated at the whole damned world, and I broke. I needed a hug, chocolate, and someone (other than my husband) to tell me I was doing ok, and could get through this.

I was doubting my ability to be ready for Tough Mudder, not seeing any measurable results on my body. I was fretting about my limitations to run more than 5k without having something hurt in a bad way. I was worried about doing proper work outs when I can’t grasp any energy from anywhere.  I was feeling left out because we pay two gym fees for my husband, and I can barely afford my gym fee, let alone entertain a personal trainer (which I need. Badly). I was grumpy at my husband going to the box six days that week, (leaving me with two children to herd every morning) when I had felt frazzled to make four days at the gym on my lunch hour. I was tired of hearing how Crossfit is the best thing in the world, my husband spouting about it non-stop (I’m serious, at some points he was interrupting me to talk about Crossfit… AUGH!). By Sunday morning when I stormed offleft for the gym, already disappointed that all the 5ker’s had cancelled for Run Club, that if I had to hear one more thing about Crossfit, I was going to lose it and smash things.

Yeah. &$#%. A little tense?

I realized that perhaps this was a sign I needed to slow down, maybe I was trying to do too much. Obviously I was low on energy, but I was also trying to squeeze blood from a stone. By Sunday after my treadmill run, I realized the no-sleep induced stress was affecting my outlook on things, making all these negative emotions come to the surface like resentment, jealousy, frustration, and anger. My interrupted sleep was messing with my blood sugars. That’s never fun.

I should be #$%^ing happy my husband loves something that is making him healthy, and hot. Instead I was resentful. I was craving carbs and sugar and all manner of bad for me things. A clear sign my body was not at optimal performance level. I was beating myself up for no other reason than the Self Critic Beast was in my head, romping happily through my self-confidence and accomplishments, using my wonky blood sugars as fuel for his path of mayhem on my emotions.

I was plain and simple overwhelmed by everything, and my body called “TIME!”.

The first two days of this week I was utterly exhausted, again getting little to no sleep at night, my stomach now upset. I was worried we might have a gastro bug, since my son was complaining of a rumbly tummy and my husband was also feeling  drained and out of sorts (Really honey, you don’t think six days of WOD’s might not be the culprit? yeesh *rolls eyes*).

So I worked from home. In my jammies.

With naps.

On a positive note, I managed to ask to go to a Flexibar class at the gym, which was last night. I was ridiculously excited to see my friends who were coming, maybe realizing I have been missing female companionship of late, and need to schedule some friend time. After the class, I did some cardio. It felt easier, and relaxing. I took the time for me, and asserted myself asking to go to the gym to take a class with my friends (I always hesitate to ask to go after work, it cuts into family time and my husband always gets that look on his face that means he doesn’t like it. He thinks he hides it, but I know… I see the grimace and the “Ok, I guess.” quiet response… Every time).

I know I need to be more structured with my work out plan, and I know I have to bust it out if I want to be ready for May. I would love to have a trainer help me out, and keep me on track. We just can’t afford it. I need to nut up, and ask for two evenings a week so I am not so harried on my lunch hours during winter season when I can’t run. My fitness is as important as his, $#%*.

I also know that I have two wonderful babies that I love, and who need me, a husband to spend time with, a house to swamp outkeep clean, and a job I need to be present for. How the &%#* do I fit it all in and stay sane so I don’t have another ugly cry in a sauna, feeling utterly overwhelmed with everything? Am I trying to fit too much in? Are my expectations of my ability to exercise and get fit while my kids are this small out of whack? Am I trying to be too strong, not asking for help when I need it? Should I be scaling back for awhile, until my daughter is sleeping better?

I have no &$%^ing idea. I don’t know what the solution is yet. Ideas, chocolate, coffe dates to girl-chat, hugs and winning lottery tickets would all be welcome. ♥

I’m Cranky and I Know It

So… Uhhh… yeah. This musical title is kind of self-explanatory. You may sing it while doing the Gangam Style dance, or simply standing about stylishly in leopard print.

The last few days has seemed a little hectic (read: A lot), and for good measure. Its Christmas, yo, and I have two kids, a husband, a full time job AND fitness to think about. Let’s not talk about the party we just had, gift shopping, the lack thereof of funds to do so, and the fact that my Visa was jacked last week and I have to wait for a new one to come in the mail.

So I’m feelin’ a lil’ cranky.

*cue first world problem tiny violin playing here*

Our Annual Open House was lovely again this year, and despite the anxiety and stress I exude beforehand as we prepare, it was a lot of fun. However, my balanced, healthy eating plan not only went out the window, but it went down the street and got hit by a car trying to cross to the Tim Hortons for a cheddar cheese bagel with a slab cream cheese oozing out. (ohhh sooo hungry right now….) Man, my carb load was intense. I totally overdid it, and I am paying for it. The roast beef was worth it, and so was the cheese tray, the chocolate macaroons, and the really, really good butter rolls. *drool*

I also did a stupid thing. I completely, 100% forgot to take my Diabetes medication on Saturday, Sunday, and yesterday morning. Total mind blip. A lot on my mind, not only with getting the house presentable (read: fingerprints off the fridge, clutter pushed away into a closet, and Cheerios unstuck from the floor), I was thinking about Newtown, Connecticut. Like so many others, it affected me in such a deep, unbelieving way. I spent most of Friday afternoon and evening chasing my children down to hug and kiss and cuddle them. I spent some of Saturday in disbelief and random tears as I read more details. On Sunday, we learned about a family here in Ottawa who, two weeks after welcoming their new baby into the family, lost their husband/Dad tragically.

I was shaken to the core as I packed up baby clothes and bought some size 1 diapers to drop off for this family going through a worst-case nightmare, sobbing as I folded tiny newborn onesies and pants. All ideas of routine and remembering important stuff went away. By Sunday night I was physically, emotionally, and mentally exhausted.

As well, Sunday morning, after getting to bed super late cleaning from said party, I got up and went for a run. Yeah, I know… What? Crazy woman. 6.5k felt like much much more, and it was really, really cold. Thank God I had a partner to run with me who was amenable to me being wimpy and needing a break halfway (Ohhh Bridgehead coffee….). I felt awful for not wanting to keep going. I felt disappointed in myself for not running better. I was not forgiving of myself for only having a few hours sleep, a lot of bad-for-me food the day before, and being up early in the cold -15 wind chilled morning to run.

(aside: It was fun to run along Byron Avenue, on a trail I have wanted to run for months now. That was great! Running through the pine trees, listening to them creak a little in the wind, seeing the seed pods and cones scattered on the shiny skiff of snow was a tiny natural oasis in the middle of a fairly dense urban area. I want to do that again. With more sleep the night before.)

I got home from that run and everything hurt in one of those ways that usually means I am walking like Quasi-Modo until the pain relief kicks in. I had not yet clued in that I had missed taking my meds, and this was likely the reason for the dragging-my-buttitis.

Hence, because of the crazy weekend, yesterday and today I am a draggy, cranky, sourpuss mess. Yesterday I was going to work out but got so overwhelmingly tired I had a nap. Today, I stomped off to the gym, hoping to get a run in on the Dreadmill, cursing the slush and gush foiling my outside running plans. The whole workout felt wrong. I was stiff, achy, tired, and my feet hurt. No matter what I did, my calves were cramping, my feet were aching, and my shins were screaming. I did a 1/2 hr of run+walk at 15% grade in equal installments, did some plank and squats, and then called it a (crappy) day. I almost cried as I walked back to the change rooms.

It was a sucky workout and I am pouting right now, and mad at myself for feeling so cranky when I shouldn’t be because I have the whole world in my hand, my family is healthy, and it is Christmas. I am also feeling the need to eat my way through this bad mood. Thank God I only have a salad left in my lunch bag. I will devour it and be happy about it, $%&*.

I did it to myself, and I know it. I need to be more careful, take my medication, eat better. I have to! I have a 10k to run this Saturday, and then again on the 31st! I have to be in good spirits and fresh. I also know that when emotional stress takes hold, I need more reminders to take my medication, and not be so hard on myself. I must do better.

I also know that I have nothing to complain about in the larger sense. Simply because I am here to complain about it to you folks, and tonight, I get to go home and read a story to my son, sing Wheels on the Bus with my daughter, tuck them into bed, and hug my husband.

I am blessed. I may be a cranky-pants right now, and beating myself up for not taking my meds, eating poorly, and having a crappy workout… But I am blessed.

Thankful and Happy

Post-run endorphins today are making me grin stupidly in my cubicle while I attempt to wrestle my Technical Diddley into submission (both literally and figuratively). “Settle down, margins! You just stop your whining, word processor! I will put my numbered list there if I want to, darn you!”

*ahem* the joys of my job.

I’m just feeling happy, content, and blessed and had to share it with everyone. No other reason for this post than that, I think. *checks reasons to blog* Yup, it is allowed.

I met up with a new friend Allee from http://runningawaywithmyself.blogspot.ca/ for a quick lunchtime run. I ran to meet her, then we did a short loop around Parliament Hill, and I ran back to the office while she continued on for a longer run downtown.

Seriously folks, I get to run in one of the most awesome places, downtown Ottawa. It is beautiful, accessible, and has loads of pathways and interesting places. I feel so lucky sometimes as I run through some of our most historic locations, past statues, revered buildings, or interesting nooks and crannies of our Nation’s Capital.

Part of the reason for the run meet up was so she could gift me with a new running jacket, which I tried out on the run. It is a Reflective Jacket from Running Room, and has been on my wishlist forever! It didn’t fit her anymore and she wanted to pass it along. It now has a very appreciative home with me! I gave her a donation to her Team Diabetes race goal as a thank you.

Kind of a personal thing, that, so ROCK ON Allee! Diabetes sucks. Check her blog out, send her a message, donate to her cause, yo!

The best part of this new jacket is that its almost the same colour my Mustang was, which made me happier than I can describe (*sniff-sniff*. I miss my big, bad-*#$ car sometimes). I may or may not be wearing my new jacket right now on my coffee break, typing away, chair dancing because I am that happy right now (It is also cold in this here office, Brrr).

Heh.

Running with a skiff of snow everywhere, seeing all the other bundled up folks running along, was also motivating. I am now part of that group of runners that layer up, go outside in winter, and run. I felt proud of myself for being out there, I was happy with myself for my achievements this year to be able to do so, and above all else, I felt immensely thankful for having somewhat salted and cleared surfaces to run on. It was Me and my friend, me in my hot neon pink hat and neck warmer, bopping along, my new merino wool socks making me so thankful, and realizing I have been running in the wrong sock all summer (except for my rainbow socks, those still rock).

I mean, my toes don’t hurt AT ALL afte my run. Not one peep out of my piggies. I am in Heaven!

I grabbed onto the happiness I felt inside as soon as I got back to work, having such a fun lunchtime sojourn away from my desk.

Today is a good day.

That is all.

Finishing

For the first time, I have had an achievement where a “runner high” was not present at the end. My satisfaction of completing was non-existent right away, and only came later, after much processing and encouragement by my husband.

So, the last two days I have been mulling over, in my head, how to best approach recapping this race, which was equally awesome and difficult for me. So I apologize if this is heavy.

The race I ran was approximately 6k on a cyclocross course, held at an old equestrian park here in Ottawa. It was laid out like a Gordian knot, snaking over grass paddocks, with some hills thrown in, and marked by thousands-upon-thousands of wooden stakes and yellow caution tape. The guy who set this up, he gets mad props, cuz his shoulders likely rival Paul Bunyan by now.

Oh, and there was lots of slippery, clay mud too, especially on the hairpin turns around wooden stakes and on hills we ran sideways across. I need trail shoes.

Most of the course was positioned at the front of the park, circling around the Grand Prix ring, sand warm up rings, and front grass rings. It started and ended on a gravel service road at the side of the Grand Prix ring. I must say I was a small bit disappointed we didn’t get to run in the ring, but equally glad the expensive footing would remain undisturbed. Let me tell you, memories everywhere as I ran.

This event, by the way, was really well-run, and I recommend it for something different than a road race, but not a full-fledged trail race. The organizers were really nice, and all smiles despite the rain. I was impressed. My husband won running socks in the door prizes, so that helped too. Heh. http://www.ridewithrendall.com/events/anvil-on-foot/ – Mark your calendars for next year!

We got to run the course before the bikes took to it, thankfully, since that would have made for extra mud and fun. My husband and I left the warmth of our heated seats, met up with our new running friend, shivered our butts off in the rainy, 1 degree Celcius weather waiting for the start, after a short jog and some bouncing around to attempt a warm up. I was not nervous, at first. I just wanted to get going, and not be so *@$#% cold.

But as I was looking around, there were a LOT of elite-looking runners, quite a few biking later in the day, from the chatter around us in the tent we were graciously allowed to huddle under. A lot of triathletes, some competitive cross-country runners, some trail runners rounded out the group of about 50 or so participants. I wondered (casually) if there were any nationally ranked athletes amongst the tank-top-and-shorts-wearing crazy people warming up by sprinting around in the rain as we all wore our parkas and shivered. Yes, indeed, there were a couple, which I found out later at the awards ceremony.

Suddenly, I was intimidated. Me, Garmin-less, with my Wal-mart special shirt, rainbow socks and extra jiggle felt out of place. And yes, I know in truth I wasn’t, and no one needs to reiterate that I had every right to be there… I guess a better way to describe it would be that I felt out of my league. No need to tell me feeling that was Bull#@$*… It was how I felt, no excuses or apologies. My inner critic suddenly pulled out the “You’re the only fat one here” and I spiralled from there. I hate it when I stop being able to control my inner critic. Bad timing, that. I was also regretting not bringing my ear buds. I had wondered if they would be allowed, as on most trail races you can’t wear them… But a couple of runners had them in. In hindsight, I needed music on this run, and I ran it all without it. That may have made it harder, since I am used to either chatting with a runner beside me, or having beats in my head.

So, when we migrated to the start line, and the informal “Off you go” sounded from the guy with the megaphone, the entire pack shot off like a cannon, and I did what I hatehatehate doing. I shot off too. Before I had taken 20 steps, I was sucking wind, my lungs were burning, my knees screaming, and an “uh oh” echoed through my head.

My husband was way ahead of me right from the start (and he says he’s not fast… Riiiight) and my friend, a much peppier runner than me, quickly outpaced me, which was ok, I wanted her to do really well. I realized, as I looked around, I was the Very. Last. Runner. Talk about demotivating? That, right there, was it. I think my Inner Critic was doing a victory dance before I’d even run a kilometre.

For the entire first lap, I struggled with my pace, my breathing, my motivation, reaching for some sort of speed I could maintain a little easier, being too hot, then having chills, then being too hot again. I wanted to stop. I wanted to quit. I felt embarrassed as folks, when we met up at cross-points on the course, would catch my eye and then look quickly away, not smile back as I smiled at them. I suppose even though I felt miserable, I tried my best to pull out of the suck and one way to do that is to smile and grab what motivation you can from those around you. My friend, meeting me on the cross-points, kept me moving. I hope she knows that if not for her, I would not have. Her waving, her smiles, her encouragement meant the world to me right then. Because of her, I did not stop. I can’t remember if I told her that after the race, or not. It was all kind of fuzzy.

Just before completing my first lap, the winner of the race steamed past me (on his second lap), splattering me with muddy sand from his running cleats as he passed within inches of me. I was all the way over to the right, to let the elite runners pass, and he was the only one who ran so close to me I could count his arm hairs. I spit the sand from my mouth and wiped the slurry from my face, hung my head, blinked back tears, and kept going. I didn’t want to feel any lower right then, and I certainly did not want to have anyone see me cry.

Incidentally, the second and third place men both said thank you to me (for moving over, I assume), and the fourth place guy gave me a Thumbs Up and a big smile. I suppose the guy who won was just focused, but it was kind of a dick thing to do, IMHO. My husband says I should let it go, it happens. OK… I will. *shake*

As I crossed the start/finish and headed out for the second lap, I finally passed a young girl who was doing a walk/run, and the suck lifted a little bit. I just kept repeating “keep going” under my breath. I just kept thinking “You can do this” in my head. I could feel my energy seeping away, and my legs started to hurt from the uneven ground and the extra balancing necessary not to go down on my kiester. I tried speeding up, immediately feeling pain in my feet and calves, and slowed back down. Eventually I found a pace that I was able to handle and my erratic breathing calmed down, but the twisty-turny course, the instability of the slippery grass with my road shoes, and my own mistakes of bad fueling and going out too hard had meant the tank was almost empty. By the time I hit the back end of my second lap, I realized I was starting to have a low blood sugar.

Those suck when you run, just for the record, and I had no fuel on course with me, since, well, a 6k run doesn’t normally need Gu.

Lesson learned, Diabetes Beast. Lesson learned (again, since this happened on my Dune run… DOH!). *shakes fist* I think perhaps an emergency source of sugar shall be henceforth carried upon my body for all my runs.

My husband and friend were waiting for me, and cheering me on to finish, so I powered through (I still have no idea how), and hit the finish line with a chip time of 44:37. I wasn’t last, which, even though it isn’t very sportsmanlike, made me feel a lot better. I downed a sugar cube proffered to me from somewhere, then some hot chocolate that my friend somehow got for me (I was a bit fuzzy at that point) and my husband sprinted to the car to get my parka. I was shaking, tired, embarrassed and feeling so mentally low I just wanted to hide. I attempted a few good run remarks to some milling-about runners, but mostly they just looked at me and didn’t respond. Wow… It was frosty, and I don’t mean the temperature! I did get some compliments on my rainbow socks, and some of the women there were really quite nice, so it wasn’t all snobbery, thank God.

When we left, we went for coffee with our friend, and the exhaustion and wiggles from the low blood sugar lifted. I felt better, and was happy we had gone and run. My husband ran in 31 minutes, which I think is really great, and my friend’s time was 37 minutesand change. Both awesome, and it helped to hear their success.

I was still feeling down about my performance in general, but I wasn’t upset I had run. Later on in the day, while beating myself uptalking with my husband, I said maybe my achievement was that I powered through the SUCK and finished.

He agreed.

So now, a few days later, I am equally proud of myself and disappointed in myself. I am proud I finished despite having a bad run. I am proud I did not quit. But… I wanted to be faster. I wanted to run better. It is only my second race, and I need to be less hard on myself. But my competitive side was really on, and it irked me I couldn’t have pulled it out.

Next time, I will do better. Next time, I will try again.

Supplemental

The world of supplements is one I have long avoided.

Knowing it is an unregulated industry, I get that the labels don’t have to be accurate, and sometimes, I wonder about just what is in that supplement that everyone is touting. “Raspberry keytones will help you lose weight!”, “Recover after a workout with this protein shake that is supposed to taste like chocolate!”, “Lab-made Ginger essences will rev your metabolism!”, “Here, drink this concoction of Sloth poop, random synthesized chemicals, and Moroccan Mint! You’ll be instantly revitalized!” (ok, so the last one is made up… I hope.).

So I have been hesitant to pop more than a multivitamin or a Vitamin D supplement, overly worried about what concoctions of chemicals and super-ingredients would do to my innards. I also patently refuse to even contemplate weight-loss supplements with Creatine or Guarana, or guzzle energy drinks. Those scare me, and I truly believe those massive cans of caffeine-stuffed drinks should have an age limit enforced on them, like alcohol.

I love my caffeine-fix, don’t get me wrong, but these drinks are killing some of the young people who drink them. *shudder*

Supplements, if not taken carefully and with full knowledge of their ingredients could be harmful, and I don’t want to find out the hard way that the “wonder drug” is really an easy way of saying heart palpitations and sweating, shakes and health problems. I’ve tried natural cleanses, probiotics, and “greens” supplements (Not Greens+ brand, haven’t tried that) in the past, with some modicum of success and expected results.

The cleanse worked very well, probiotics are awesome (eat yer yogurt, Hippie!), but the greens supplement tasted nasty and gave me the trots. The “natural” flavour turned out to be MSG, which I get thumping migraines from (yay!). WHO PUTS MSG IN A HEALTH SUPPLEMENT? Seriously…

But, now that I am watching what I eat moreso than ever before, and I am busier than ever before, I have realized a few things.

  1. I don’t have time for breakfast. With two kids to chase and herd out the door, time to cook eggs and various other yumminess in the morning is not an option. A bowl of cereal or a piece of toast shoved down is NOT appropriate for a Diabetic either. Yeah, yeah, get up earlier, blah blah… You finally fall into bed around 11, wake up twice with a toddler, and tell me waking up at 5:30 the next AM is easy… *grump* Where’s my coffee…
  2. I am not eating as much carb as before, and sometimes I do not eat enough for my activity level, or end up eating the wrong type of carb (white pasta anyone? White rice? Eep.) Yeah. That. I bet Chris and Heidi Powell would stare at me in horror as I stood at the sink, shoving pasta casserole down my maw in order to get out the door in time for Run Club. Quelle Horreur!
  3. We have scaled back how much meat we eat in favour of lots of veg and fruit and simple grains, beans and lentils (have you SEEN the price of chicken lately? I can buy a car cheaper). This means I am not getting as much lean protein as I used to, and I think my iron levels are dipping.

So, with those things in mind, I have opened the book on the dreaded supplement. *cue horror screaming*.

I think I may need to add a protein supplement to my morning, to make smoothies and shakes in the trusty ole Magic Bullet. That should help with breakfast being filling, as well as make them functional for my nutrition and fueling for fitness. Likely I will need to look at a winter multivitamin to keep my iron and Vitamin D up, establish a healthy level of Omegas. I just read today that Omegas can lubricate joints, and reduce inflammation. Bring it on then! My arthritic joints are begging for something to help. *crrrrr-ack*

All these pills and powders and additives make my head spin. Crazy. Gonna have to get one of those pill cases that they give out to Senior Citizens. Maybe I can get a pink, sparkly one… Hmm…

I am hoping to rely on the fabulous and expert advice at Rainbow Foods, or perhaps Fit Shop for my questions as I figure this out, but hey, lurkers… Give me your favorite protein supplements, delicious smoothie recipes, and trusted brands of vitamins. What works for you?

As long as they don’t contain any Sloth poop, we’re all good.

Up and Down

Today is going to be a better day, because darnitall… It has to be.

Yesterday I was so excited about running. I was happy to get back to it, feeling better than last week, wanting to get out there. I had my route all planned out to be near lots and lots of trees to check out Fall colours. I was going to RUN HAPPY, DAMMIT! I was also fueled by goal endorphins.

I have a new goal race (Note to self: must update goal sidebar) of the Resolution Run on December 31st, with my husband. We are doing the 10k. WOO ME! Gonna run the 10! I’m confident I can do the distance, whether with 10:1’s or not. My husband will have to shuffle-step with me, but this is more about us doing something together, moreso than trying for an awesome time.  Plus, you get a kick-butt jacket. Swag like that rocks.

*chair dance*

But, as with plans of mice and men, everything went pear shaped and I had to throw in the towel on my run. (Hoo doggy, there are more clichés in that sentence than you can shake a stick at!). About an hour before I was due to lace up, I experienced a low blood sugar. @#$%.

I thought it might be because I did not eat my snack soon enough, but I have a feeling it was a combination of Metformin, exhaustion, and food. The past few days, taking two pills in the AM has given me funny-tummy, and I’ve felt off. I chalked it up to not feeling my best last week, and cutting back on my carbs a bit, trying to eat better at breakfast. I have not drastically changed my breakfast food, I know I am still eating enough so the pills don’t upset my tummy (you have to take it with food or else…).

So… Needless to say, yesterday sucked. I got sweaty, dizzy, shaky, and was able to get back into my desk chair before my vision started whiting out. I put my head between my knees, took deep calming breaths. and counted slowly to twenty. I crunched a dextrose pill, and said some swear words under my breath. Once the Dex took effect, I was able to get half a banana down without my hands uncontrollably shaking. My face, when I looked in the mirror, was white as a sheet.

Such a great look under flourescent lights. Ick.

By mid afternoon, I was recovered, but the upset to my body left me cold, weak, achy, headachy, and frustrated that I had missed such a great opportunity to have a lunch run on a gorgeous Fall day. It was sunny, warm(ish), and beautiful colours were blowing everywhere in the mild breeze. *@#$, man.

It was harsh trying to eat and restabilize myself. Low blood sugar makes me not want to eat anything, but ya gotta, or else. I felt like puking for a long time after, even when I tried to eat some of my lunch. I did not get much down. By evening I was veering on cranky, and short-tempered, and dinner was forced down, lest I have a repeat performance. Of course, my baby girl decided this was the night she wanted to stay up all hours, and my hubby said he had to work late.

Frickin’ brilliant with a side of awesomesauce. My exhausted self may or may not have yelled at a 20 month old when she wouldn’t lie down, and then both of us dissolving into tears. I win Parent of the Year for that (not). Hubby eventually rescued me and I hit the bed with a thump heard two houses over.

I was D-O-N-E.

Anyone who has dealt with a low blood sugar knows how terrifying they can be, and how utterly hollow and exhausting  they can be afterwards. How frustrating they are, when you know it can be prevented. How out-of-control you feel. I’ve said it a lot, but Diabetes sucks.

I am feeling 100% better today, and plan on running at lunch. It is overcast, blowy, and cold. Boo. but I am going! I need to get out and move after yesterday’s up and down. I have to.

I will NOT let this beat me.

Dealing With The Downs

I am now working my way through a book about running. Yup, reading about running. I may take it and put it on a treadmill at the gym next week. I’be all like “Look at me, I am dedicated!” and feel smug in my own superiority until I realize I can’t read and run at all, and fall off the treadmill, smushing some tender part of my body against a hard surface.

Yeah… that could totally happen, you know… Because I am a dork.

I am reading Run Like A Mother, and when I am done that one, I plan on diving into Train Like A Mother. Both came in the mail this week.

They could not have come at a better time. Thank you, speedy Amazon packing person and UPS driver.

I need the inspiration and motivation this week like peanut butter needs jam. I am trying my best to soak up the positive vibes from my running group, weight loss group, and family. I need the encouragement, because this week has been brutally, violenty, physically difficult. I feel like I have been pulled through a knothole backwards by a team of angry horses. Twice.

No, I am not normally so dramatic. I had a silly moment,, and the previous paragraph sounded way more funny than “I feel yucky.” At least in my head it did. Heh.

The serious explanation now, with no horses or knotholes:

One thing I still struggle with, in my journey to fitness with Diabetes Type 2 is dealing with something I figured out this week, that I am calling “the Downs”. By this, I mean the times when I have stress in my life, get sick (I have a cold and some sort of gastro nasty this week), or can’t do what I want to do. I go off the rails with my diet, and the spiral of feeling lethargic, cranky and hormonal, followed by emotional eating, followed by more cranky, tired and hormonal gets me. I become forgetful and dunder-headed, I get short-tempered, I get sleepy (read: exhausted and wrung out like an old, wet rag), and I get negative. (This seems to happen around when my period is due, a likely trigger… Joy unspeakable, right?)

So cue the chocolate-binge and sobbing after watching sappy commercials, or the sudden unswerving need to curl up in a ball and block out the world, or escape into a book/video game/writing. Cue the remorse and the self-loathing for not being a good adult and taking care of business the way I’m supposed to. Cue the running and the hiding of my family as the Diabetes Beast replaces Mommy.

To be honest, I do this to myself. I have to be stronger, better, faster in dealing with the onset of the Downs. I know the pattern (or at least recognized it this week), so I need to conciously break it. Sometimes, I have fearlessly stared it in the face and said “Not right now, you @#$%*, I have {blank} to do, and I don’t have time for your crap”. (Like right before my Army Run, where I was starting to feel despondent and worried about completing the goal). Other times, like this week, I scarfed the chocolate bar down while watching TV and said “I’ll deal with it tomorrow.”, which then, as we all know, became today, and the damage was done.

Now, I am not pleading “Woe! I am forsaken by my body! Pity me, great Internets! tell me I am strong and bodacious and I will worry not!”. Not in the least. I know I have to nut up and deal better. It is mighty hard, and a process. I forget this and demand results NOW, setting it up for me to be frustrated, railing that I can’t figure this @#$% out.

Some Diabetics take years to get their sugars under control, finding the right balances of food, medication and activity. I am lucky. My sugars have been ok, save the highs and lows that I always know will happen. My Metformin is helping a lot, even though sometimes it gives me a stomach that thinks I am on a cruise ship, or a digestive system that thinks I just ate street food in Mexico.

I am very active now, and this is so important. But it also goes bye-bye when the Downs hit, because I have no physical energy to get up and go. Simply being a parent, employee, wife and a human is all I can muster, never mind athlete. My body usually says “%$#@ you. Sleep. Now.” I have tried int he past to do a run when feeling like this, and it never goes well. It never makes me feel better. I always end up shaking, puking, or aborting the workout.

Diabetes sucks, y’all.

This week has been a stellar case, hence the epiphany I had looking at the week and going “Oh crap, here we go again, Stupid.” and I am at Friday, valiantly hoping that I can pull out of it for the weekend. I want to go for a run, maybe do a workout. I want to have fun with my family. I don’t want to be short-tempered and tired. This is part of the process, recognizing it. Choosing to get off the roller-coaster and snapping the Downs pattern. Learning how and what to do, to take care of myself better when I am stressed, sick, or busy-as-heck.

Next time, I’ll be better at dealing with the Downs… Because you bet your bippy (What is a bippy? Anyone? Bueller?) there will be a next time.

Carbs, Glorious Carbs!

(Note: the above title should be sung to the tune of “Food, Glorious Food” from the musical “Oliver”, as emphatically as possible)

I did not eat as well as I should have on the weekend.

I blame my husband. It is completely his fault I have peanut butter fingerprints on my iPad. Yes, they are mine and not my children’s.

He has recently discovered the joy of making English Muffins from scratch. They are delicious and better than the store brand. He also tried crumpets, which turned into really, frickin’ delicious tea biscuits (whoopsie doodle on the recipe there, Dearest), so he was disappointed, but I managed to forgive him through mouthfuls of warm, buttery wonderfulness. He also made fresh bread in our bread maker. Lovely, lovely white goodness with a crrrackly crust that begged to made into grill cheese (which happened Saturday evening, ohhh yeah… Mama had grilled cheese).

You see, we don’t buy bread at the store. We make it all from scratch, on demand. Tortillas, bread, muffins, buns. We save a pile of cash and we have fresh bread only when we want it. We also try our hands at crackers, when we have time.

My husband was on a tear, I think because he was fed up not having bread in the house. Keeping the wheaty staple away from our kitchen helps me from defaulting to the easy-peasy sandwich when I am pressed for time and need food. I am a lazy food person. I gravitate to the easiest form of nourishment I can find, usually to the detriment of my carb count and blood sugar levels.

My husband grouches occasionally. He loves having bread as a staple, not a treat. The kids love toast. Sometimes I feel like a mean, mean Mama Bear saying “NO!” to the bread. Sometimes I break down, like this weekend.

So… I had a wee bit of a cheat weekend… Ehh… heh… Bad Sabby *handslap*. English muffins smeared with peanut butter and jam made my eyes roll into the back of my head. It was almost as heady as when my hubby brought home a loaf of white Wonderbread and I had fresh, squishy peanut butter and banana open-faced sandwiches with honey drizzled on top. Yes, junk food in our house is Wonderbread with ample yummy stuff like fruit on it.

I love peanut butter. Probably more than I should. *drool*

This morning I am feeling the effects of the flour and wheat in my system. I am not used to that amount. I am sluggish, achy, and fuzzy headed. I do eat wheat in other forms, but not near as much as I used to, and I know when I have overindulged. Perhaps that is why yesterday’s stroller run was so unbelievably tiring. I literally gave up at 4k of 5:1 walk/jog intervals, pushing that stroller (with my daughter inside, I didn’t take it out empty for fun you know…) and walked the rest of the 7k I wanted to complete on the walk/jog. I felt heavy, and my sweating was different. It wasn’t cleansing. It felt gross. I was clammy and icky. I am sure my blood sugars were creating confusion and delay (choo choo!) for my bloodstream. I had several highs after meals that were not unexpected.

This week I have to get back on the clean eating bandwagon, and be stronger in my choices. I have a race to run in two weeks, and I do not want to be badly fueled and have a crappy run. That would suck. This week I also have my first run with a running club, and I am very nervous, so I don’t want to show up and worry about being able to give 100%. Running with other people is still something I find nerve-wracking, since I am very slow and have wee legs. But I need to step outside the comfort zone and just do it. *grr-arrrgh*

So, no more than one bread-carb serving per day for me, period. Which will be hard, since there is a pile of English Muffins cuddled up to the Skippy, whispering “Eat me… Mmmmm… I am delicious.

Ack!

Different Diabetic Worlds

The past three Mondays in a row, I attended a set of Diabetes Type 2 information sessions. Why? Because, well… I have Diabetes Type 2, and it seemed like a good idea to get a refresher. I’m by no means a newbie at this, but since this ain’t Gestational, the ball game, she be different.

I was the youngest person in the room by about 20 years, maybe more. Talk about a fish outta water.

This wasn’t a bad thing, really. I just felt a little woebegone and “Why me?” the first night for being saddled with this damned disease so young, as compared to my session-mates who were all dealing with how to buy strips with their old age pensions and retirement funds. I felt down for letting myself get so out of shape and thus likely bringing the Diabetes Beast onto my doorstep early. “If”, “What if”, and others went through my head, the Self-Critic Beast poking away merrily.

Ow- %$#@, quit it.

After my pity party (which may or may not have included some chocolate), I told myself to put on my Big Girl Panties™ and deal. So what that I’m younger than all these other people? So what if I am dealing with a disease that usually affects older folks? My genetics prove that I am screwed, so let’s not dwell on the misfortune of an early diagnosis, let’s focus on how to beat it and give my genetics the finger. (Not literally, I’m not gonna flip my Dad off… that wouldn’t be very nice)

I am going to try my damndest to prove the doctors wrong, and put this awful, *@%$# disease into its place. It isn’t my goal to go off medication (although Yippe-Kai-Yay if I get to!), because that may not happen. I do realize I may be on Metformin for a long, long time. I may eventually need insulin.

Wait… There be no “may” there. Diabetes is progressive, and I’ve got it for life. It will be a “when”. I just hope it is a long, long time from now. This is part of the “try my damndest”.

It was humorous, in a way, and after my last session tonight, I chuckled on the way home. Here I was talking about finding a balanced, healthy meal plan to include my toddler, and the rest of the participants were comparing their grandkids. I was lamenting how hard it was to find time to fit in running while raising young children, planning regular meals while squeezing in activities for the kids, and these folks were lamenting at how they may have to cut back on knitting to make time for a stroll around the block.

Different worlds.

Same #@*$ disease.

It Said “Eat Me!”, So I Did

Do you know what happens when you have fifteen 4 year old children running around your backyard, bouncing around a water slide bouncy castle thingy, and hyped up on sugar?

You have the birthday party of AWESOME, that’s what.

Leading up to the party of awesomeness, I was out shopping, preparing, planning and… Not running. No, I was not working out, and feeling the stress creep in as I moved less and ate more. Oh my, it was sucking, but the time ran out, and the heat of the day meant that running at lunch was a risk. I am NOT fit enough yet to run when it is above 30 degrees Celcius. I am also not that crazy.

Wait, I take that back… Give me a few more months and ask me to reiterate that when I am dodging ice puddles on the Ottawa River pathway.

To summarize, it was basically not a good week for my diet. My diet went on vacation. Without me.

Bastard.

My sugars stayed within a good range, but I felt myself slipping up and having snacks at night, or wanting a second helping. Eating my stress as we got ready to be hosts with the most, so to speak. Thankfully, I did not gain weight; in fact I maintained my loss of seven pounds, which made me happy. I just didn’t add to my fitness, or gain any mileage. Boo-urns.

September seems way too close right now.

But then, Sunday hit, and as I came to a screaming halt at about 5 pm, I sat, covered in glitter, feet hurting like &%#@, toys and streamers and balloons everywhere, trying not to squish strung out kids alternately vibrating and crying. I slumped in my chair, still hungry even though I had consumed several hotdogs (sans bun), a hamburger, a bunch of pasta salad, some carrot sticks, potato salad, an ear of corn, a handful of strawberries and two pieces of pineapple.

Stresssssssssss…….. Thy game tongue speaketh of trickery and folly. Nay I say, may nay doth my body listen. Thou art a snake amongst men, verily I shake my fist, but all in vain, for thou has bested me.

Oh dear… that was terrible.

So, how did I cope with the culmination of a crazy, hectic and overwhelming week, you ask? Did I right myself, dust off my Brooks and recommit? Did I take my shaking hand away from the fork and sternly back away from the food?

I did not. For staring me in the face was my son’s birthday cake, which was whispering “You want me. You need me. You can relax with me… One bite, sweetie… Just one!”

Birthday cake is evil like that.

It’s not like I hadn’t had any along the way. I made the %$#@ cake. And, well, you have to taste test the batter, the finished cake, then the frosting, and the candies you bought for the wee tiny caterpillar feet.

I maintain that the jujube tasting was strictly to make sure they weren’t stale. Yeah. (They weren’t). So I knew exactly what the cake tasted like. I did not need another piece to ensure the quality was good.

In my defense, I made my 4 year old a caterpillar cake for his party. It turned out well. He loved it. The kids loved it! The parents asked where I got it made. I humbly told them I made it, and endured the “Oh wow! You must’ve taken classes! Ooh!” Little do they know…

Every year, I vow to buy his cake next year. But, I know that next year will roll around and I will get the urge to be creative and make his cake myself to save money and impress everyone with my culinary art skillz. Yeah…

I am not meant to be a cake decorator, folks. Not at all. At least one piping bag went flying the morning of the party as my hands cramped and my patience evaporated like my resolve to eat well did.

But right then, with all that piling up of tension and hurrying and craziness, that cake was my Waterloo, and I stuffed it into my sugar-addicted face like it was ambrosia. *mfff-wrfff-mrfff* (Translation: “Help, the buttercream is winning!”)

I realized, when the fog lifted and the empty plate sat in front of me, that I really needed to get back on the horse. I groaned and wiped the crumbs off my bosoms, guilty and sated. I felt stiff, sore, grumpy, and understanding that this kind of life stuff is not an excuse to eat like crap. Stress is not an reason to let my food addiction win. I have to be stronger. I beat myself up for a bit before we forced ourselves to finish cleaning up the detritus of a successful shindig for my oldest child, then we collapsed like a house made of cards caught in a stiff wind.

On Monday, both hubby and I felt bloated, tired and sluggish. I dragged my butt back to bed with a killer migraine, and by Tuesday hubby did the same. Wednesday I was worse, and buried my head under my comforter and told the world to go away.

I may have sworn a lot while doing so (out of kiddo earshot). I felt terrible.

We realized, both Dearest and I, that slipping off the wagon food-wise had given us a full on case of GI Tract fallout. We were processing all the crap we ate on the weekend, and our bodies were reacting accordingly, since that stuff (hotdogs, processed foods, sugarsugarsugar) isn’t in our lives much anymore. Literally, my tummy was poking out, so was his, and we couldn’t stop burping and *ahem* passing gas. The kids were feeling it a bit too, I think. That and the slow withdrawal of sugar in their veins making them crabby for a couple of days. We don’t deny our kids treats, but it is not an everyday thing, nor do we gorge.

So Wednesday we did the Running Room 20 Minute Challenge with the kids (My son ran half of it!), and then today I went running out the door at work for my noon jog physically feeling the pull towards Alexandra Bridge and the river pathways. I. Needed. To. Move.

It felt really good, even if it was a slow pace, and I took it easy, since I did not want to re-aggravate any of the nastiness from the beginning of the week. (Aside: I now know why they call it “the trots” when applied to runners. Augh!)

I also ate better most of this week, once I was able to again, and am back to normal. Ahhh.

So… suck it, Evil Birthday Cake. Next year maybe I won’t give in, even if I do get wild and crazy and attempt a Monster Truck or Dinosaur cake. Eep.

Sexy Pants Needed

I am a happy girl today.

I have lost seven pounds in a little less than a month.

*kermitflail*

It means that finally, after three months of running and eating better and drinking a *%#@ tonne more water and obsessing… that the scale has moved. I was beginning to doubt I would see weight loss, even though my clothes are looser, my energy is up, my moods are better, and some of the little fat-wrinkles that I despise on my body are less so. I was beginning to lose hope of ever seeing the scale budge. I had nightmares of running the Boston marathon at my current weight. Fully capable of running the distance, just fat-and jiggly as I traversed!

FYI, running that far all at once is a nightmare on its own, but I digress…

I know that inches are more important, I know that muscle weighs more than fat. I also know not to focus on my weight. It is hard. So very, very hard. I avoid scales, and weigh myself infrequently.

The Metformin I have to take has (finally) brought my levels under control*. This helps melt fat, and with the sugars under control, my body can work properly to shed the fat and build the muscle. It took awhile for my body to get used to this *$%@ medication, (cue the upset stomach, shakes, crankiness due to said digestive upset the where I felt like I was poisoning my body…) but now that it has, I feel a whole heapin’ teaspoon of sugar better. Heh…

The up side of this mini-milestone is that I am (finally!) losing pounds. On a frame of 5’1″, this can show signifigantly. I’m wee, so if I gain a pound, you notice. there’s not a lot of me to spread the fat around on, so to speak. So even losing a few pounds means you see it! Bonus! (Note: you are always the last person to see the weight come off, others will notice first)

The down side is that I need new pants. Yes, I know, its a great problem to have, but hear me out. With a tight budget right now, buying new jeans, well… That ain’t happenin’, sista. No Travelling Pants for me. Case in point. My size 18 jeans are falling off of me. I put them on a week or so ago and they fell off with the first step into a rumpled, denim puddle around my feet.

Doh…

So I tried my size 16’s. They are so loose I have to hold them up to walk, or borrow my husband’s belt. (read: Not very feminine)

For the record, women’s clothing sizes are *$#@%$& messed up, yo. A size in one store does not mean a size in the next store will even come close to the same measurements. I envy men with their ability to buy based on collar size, inseam, and waist. Grrr…

But once my “small” 16’s are too big (Yes, this will happen), what then? I have nothing else, having given away all the clothes I had not worn since before having children. I even got rid of my old tight-butt, long leg jeans that I wore the day I met my husband. I loved those jeans, they fit me perfectly, and made me feel a hundred feet tall, sexy as hell, and invincible. Calvin Klein, you get my body shape, dear. I love you.

Or, at least my “before-kids” body shape. because after having two kids, WTF… Nothing is where it is supposed to be, and I have a cesarean scar to contend with. Any girl with a C-scar knows how hard it is to find jeans to f it over that so it doesn’t a) chafe, b) make the skin on top of the scar poke out like a tiny spare tire. c) cause a massive muffin top because the waist doesn’t sit where your waist is anymore.

This means, by roundabout explanation, that I am stuck wearing baggy-assed jeans (with a belt) until new jeans can be procured. It also means my running pants are getting loose, and they are chafin’ that little wee bit. Just enough to be annoying, so add that to the list of things I need to buy** Argh.

I want to lose the same amount again in the next month before we jettison up North of the Big Smoke for Tough Mudder. It is for purely superficial reasons (in the short term. My long term weight loss goals are still very deep and rooted in beating the Diabetes Beast with a big &%#@$* stick) and I am not ashamed to say that:

I wanna look hawter© while I stand on the sidelines and wait for my husband and his team to come over the finish line and give me adrenalin-filled, nasty, wet, muddy, sexy hugs of victory.

I want to feel confident in my body. I want to feel like I belong amongst the fitness freaks and hard bodies dotting the venue.

And as an extra? Wearing pants that fit whilst being hugged would be nice.

*Diabetes sucks, y’all
**Also? I need running tanks. I have a Farmer’s Tan™, and that is so not sexy.

Saying No To Sugar

It is getting easier to say no to sugar.

I heard that, you over there with the Little Debbie snack cake in your hand. I said getting easier, not easy!

More often than not now, I am able to walk past yummy, soul-enriching chocolate without thinking “Mmm a treat would be nice”. I am not craving sugary sweetness at ten p.m. anymore. I am not frantically searching the house for the hidden chocolate chips or leftover Halloween candy a week before my period. I no longer salivate at the yummy treats in the pastry display at every coffee shop I enter.

Umm well, maybe some of the time I do… I still like to have a treat! I substitute, however, with my Chapman’s no added sugar ice cream, or a sugar-free fudge treat at Dairy Queen. I still buy Cocoa Camino chocolate and portion it out, 3 squares a day, until it is gone. I still indulge in Banana Cream Pie, but don’t eat the whole piece. I still enjoy a cookie or two.

But… Needing the sugar, physically craving it, ain’t happenin’ anymore. I feel more even throughout the day (except first thing in the morning. Look out, ZombieMom comin’ through!) *braiiiiiinnnzzzz -err- coffffffeeee* and I am less sleepy in the afternoon.

This is a major breathrough in the life of a freewheelin’ chocoholic, hide-the-wrappers-in-the-Diaper-Genie sugar hound. (That’s me, keep up!)

Cutting back on sugar is hard, since it is everywhere and in everything.  I like to think I am becoming more savvy as I look for healthier choices in my meals, especially looking at carb sugar levels and unhealthy ingredients. I haven’t banned sugar completely from my life, that is impractical on so many levels. I have cut back to a point where a sugary food becomes a treat,  not an every day thing.

I haven’t drank pop for years (the chemicals in pop scare me, yo), and cut sugar out of my coffee and tea a few years ago. I refrain from juices unless it is cut half with water. Now, as part of a bigger measure to cut back, I keep things like ketchup, teriyaki, soya sauce and other such dipping and frying flavour enhancers off my plate.

I notice as I cut back on sugar, and look for healthier alternatives in the processed foods we do bring home (yogurt, cheese slices, crackers, margarine etc) that as you get lower cholesterol, carbs from sugars, bad fats and such, the sodium levels go up. That is the next beast to tackle, and is way more insidious. We try to eat fresh as much as possible, but Jumping Jiminy, its hard!

I digress… Sodium be another topic for another day, me Hearties. Avast, where was I…

Ah yes, sugar.

Will I ever get to a point where I can look to days with no sugar consumption? Perhaps. I do know I have made it a habit now to conciously cut back. I do know that my palate has changed and I don’t need to sweeten things as much anymore. I taste real flavours, and if something is sweet, I tend to find it too sweet and won’t finish it.

Never thought I would be able to pull it off, since I am a die hard sweet tooth, and I adore chocolate. Chocolate, it was a food group in my pre-Diabetes days.

So, believe me when I say that this diet change is real progress, and I am proud of myself.

Dear Food Blog…

I know you are wondering why I never visit anymore.

I hear your cries of “look at my new recipe! See my sumptuous pictures! Revel in the deliciousness!” and I tear myself away, my heart breaking, the unread count growing higher and higher in my RSS reader.

Its not that I don’t still love you, I do. Oh believe me, I do.

But right now, I can’t look at you, without feeling overwhelmed by all the problems inherent in me. I get nervous cooking and eating your recipes. Calories, fat, fibre, the dreaded carbohydrate… All give me pause, make me doubtful, which makes me cranky. can I eat that? Will it hurt me?

I can’t have a lot of the things you show me anymore, and it is hard to look through your bountiful pages without feeling bereft, grieving for the culinary life I used to have. I know I’ll get over it, and once again we will be happily planning, cooking, baking, and omnomnoming along together. Just in a different way.

But, until I figure this *%@$ out, I need to stay away, and halt the negativity every time I spy a delectable recipe I would love to try, knowing it isn’t healthy for me anymore, even tinily portioned for benefit.

I just need time. Forgive me.

Love,

Your newly Diabetic fan

Mickey Mouse Hands

(Update 27/06/2012: Turns out I had a nasty throat infection and the beginnings of a kidney infection. So it wasn’t my diet, or my prep for the run, and I don’t suck like I thought I did. I was quite ill! All better now, antibiotics are a wonderful thing.)

 

I had my first bad run today. Bad, nasty, sick (wait, I think that means something is “good” now…), terrible, horrific, abysmal, disappointing, defeating…

I think you get the picture.

I started out ok, and even crossed the Canal locks again! (Go me!) I was sticking to my intervals, and as I made my way along the river on the Ottawa side I felt my legs get sorer and sorer. My stomach was not happy, and I felt a bit woozy. By the time I got to Portage Bridge, I was green around the gills.

And yup, I puked. Right there, on the side of the bridge. I found a water fountain* and kinda leaned/draped against it a few minutes, taking sips, willing my entire body to stop freaking the #@%* out. My legs were shaking, my head was pounding, I felt really fuzzy and out of it** and my hands were so swollen that you could not see my wedding band. Seriously, I had Mickey Mouse hands.

Wierd, and really hurty.

No one approached to see if I was ok. Which was good, since I wanted to die of embarassment. But also sad because c’mon people, where is your sense of decency? Help your fellow (wo)man! I was obviously about to die. Yeesh.

Once my head cleared, and the prickly, wierdness from my legs and hands had subsided, I carried on walking. I figured I could finish the loop walking, and if nothing else, get in a low-key workout day. I was halfway done anyways, the furthest point away from work possible, on my long run loop.

Doh.

I was really, really mad at myself for giving up, not pushing through it like every runner and running advice column says to do. I had hydrated well, I ate a snack before I left, I warmed up… WTF, body? I was also defeated. Self Critical Beast was poking me with the big stick saying “You can’t do that run on July 1 you want to do… you can’t even run for longer than two minutes without needing a break… Your husband is doing so much better than you already… You should just quit… You will never be a runner… Look at you, fat and red-faced and puffing like a windbag… You suck.”

Yes folks, that was the monologue as I walked along. Fit runners breezed past me, not motivating me, but making me feel worse for not pushing myself, giving up too easily. So at the bottom of the incline to get on to the Gatineau side of the river, I picked up a slow jog. I jogged for a while (to the bridge that bounces as you run across it, read: WHEEE!), then felt the wobbly legs and tummy coming back and had to stop. I did not want to puke in front of the mass of school kids coming my way from the museum. That would not be “sick”.  (Did I use that term right? I am sooo old…)

My hands had also re-swollen and were pulsating like strange alien hands, mottled red and blue.

I walked the rest of the way back to work, angry and tired and a bit worried about what had happened. I stopped at the bathrooms at Major’s Hill Park, and put my hands under the cool water from the taps. Heavenly. My hands were now so swollen I COULD NOT BEND MY FINGERS! It felt the same as the one time I almost froze them, working on a horse farm in February.

Let me reiterate. OW, *#@%ity OW!

I started reviewing the past 24 hours of food through my head, trying to figure out what on earth I ate that had enough sodium in it to make me react this way, because I had read that excess sodium can do this to a body when exercising. I wondered if it was the allergy meds I am trying out, or if it was indeed that I had not hydrated enough. The low carb cheesies I ate last night? Ther walnuts (I did have a large handful)? The two bites of crappy ice cream I bought for the kids because there was a monkey on the box?

Whatever it was that was invading my body, it sabotaged my run today. I can’t let that happen again. It will only fuel the Self Critical Beast, and I don’t want to fail at this fitness thing anymore. I can’t. My life depends on it.***

Also? I have a blister starting on my left arch. Seriously? A blister there? I know of no band aid that will stay on in that location. *@#%.

* Husband, I need a water bottle to take running. Or a camelbak, or fuel belt, or somethin’. Folks let their dogs drink outta those fountains along the loop. Ick.
** Yes, I was wearing my RoadID. I was thankful for it, because I really thought I might faint at one point.
*** Diabetes sucks

Soap as Saviour?

Sometimes, a girl has to indulge. Today was such a day. I had to run an errand at lunch. I was hungry on my walk back to the office. Rumbly-tummy hungry.

This is the kind of hungry that makes me want to stop at the drive thru and order a double-quarter pounder with cheese and bacon with fries and a shake, and then eat it all before I get home.

Not kidding.

That was before. This is now. The craving is still there, but I have to say no.

H-e-llllllll NO!

As I was walking, I knew if I did not steel myself to the onslaught of smells (OMG Beavertails stand, are you kidding me?) I would break down and go get something I should not. I had to be strong, but it was very, very hard. I could almost feel the sweet, sweet rush of carbs loading into my system. I could practically taste the yummy goodness.

I rushed forward and dove into the LUSH store to relieve myself of the sugary fried food aromas before I dropped gibbering to the street in front of a bunch of tourists, or pried a Kilaloe Sunrise out of someone’s hands and ran screaming “I have you now, my precious!”.

Yeah… That kind of hungry.

20120531-144659.jpg
Can’t you just smell the clean?

As I breathed in that famous cloying soap smell, I remembered that I really liked a sample of some soap I got from here. I had brought the soap home for hubby to try, since I like using shower gel. But then I got curious and tried it for myself one day.

That soap rocked the house, man. I really liked it. I was all clean and minty and refreshed. If I was made of rubber, I woulda squeaked as I walked.

Wait, I sometimes do that anyways… Never mind.

I’m not sure we have any of that sample left, so I decided I would splurge and get some more. The best part about LUSH is that you can get as much, or as little, as you want. Yay! It was like buying cheese, but not edible, and less smelly (in some cases)

It was my little reward for passing by the yummy food, and saying no to the bad-for-me calories. Even though I didn’t need it, it immediately made me remember my goals, since I bought it to refresh me after a workout.

Which is the opposite of a burger and fries in my world right now. So I win. This time.

Take that, craving! HAH!

My Tired Tookus and the Zombies

Last week, I did not run.

I wanted to, I really, really did. A sick baby meant I was up all hours of the night, dragging my tookus ten feet behind me because of the lack of sleep. Work deadlines meant I was dragging that tookus into a chair and not leaving, hammering away at my technical diddley, even through lunch.

I considered going out in the evening, but by the time we did dinner, spent time playing with the kids, bed time routine, and house chores, my tookus was way too tired to even contemplate squeezing into spandex to go out and run in the twilight (my most hated time of day to exercise), and instead wanted to sit and play Plants vs Zombies on my iPad.

I really dislike those pogo zombies, ya know? And the ones with zambonis and bobsleds…

Anyways, I guess you could say a perfect storm of conflictsexcuses resulted in a zero gain on mileage. If this keeps up I’ll be walking that 5k in September, not jogging.

I need someone to tell me that this is normal. That working moms struggle with fitting their exercise time in as much as I am right now. That no motivation to get up at 5:30 A.M. to run, after 2 hours of sleep is ok, and not making me a horrible person. That working through my lunch isn’t a cop-out when I’m super busy, and not wanting to run in the dark at night isn’t being a pansy.

That stress relief (when my tookus has had enough and needs to plop in yon comfy living room chair) in the form of squishing zombies with menacing squash does not make me weird.

Yeah…

Ok so maybe a little weird. I really like blowing them up with potato bombs…

The jist is this. I have to be more active. The Diabetes Beast has caught me. I must lose weight and become fit to prevent my Diabetes from being a thing I live with. I want it to be a thing I beat into submission using my defined bicep and a running shoe, to be triumphant in my well-toned glory.

Take that blood sugars! Take that pancreas! HAH!

But, when two young children, a husband, a disaster areahome, and a full-time career are all bleating for my full attention, what gives?

My time, that’s what. It is frustrating as #@%*, and I need advice on how to get past it.

A Case For More Than Basic Black

<rant>

You know, I have a beef to pick with the Diabetes paraphernalia manufacturers. Specifically, those wonderful companies that make yon trusty glucose meter.

A very useful tool, indeed, I know, since I use one every day. It goes with me everywhere, because it has to. It slips into my pack for work, and into my nightstand at night.20120510-151834.jpg

(Public service announcement: Hey folks, don’t keep yer meter in the bathroom! Humidity can be harmful to the itty bitty electronics and you won’t get accurate readings.)

But, there is one thing about my meter that is decidedly uninspiring. No, its not the pokey thing that makes me cringe each time I torture prick my finger to test.

It’s the case. They’re always UGLY!

Why oh why do you, Accu-Ultra-Chek-OneTouch Meter Co. have to make cases in basic, boring black, with no design flourish, no panache except a really loud zipper (Seriously, it sounds like I’m unzipping pants over here) and perhaps a bas relief logo? I mean come on! I’m secretly a girly girl (shhh!) and I want pretty patterns, flowers, or even just a different colour than black. Would it hurt to have blue, maybe a nice green?

In this case (pun!), it is NOT like a little black dress hiding all your wee bumps and lumps. That neoprene block that I put the meter in? Yeah, it kind of stands out amongst my floral motif purse and red lunch bag. Everyone who sees it is like “What’s that?” and then I have to tell them. If it was a purple paisley print, no one would ask. They’d assume it was for tampons or makeup.

What? A girl can’t say “tampon” in her blog? Tam-pon… Heh.

So now I am on the hunt. I have these pretty bags at home to keep my extra supplies for my meter, ironically decorated with bumblebees and hives with the words honey on the side. I want to find a nicer case for my meter. Something with some pink, maybe even some flowers.

Cuz honey, if I gotta carry it everywhere, its gotta look like something I would carry everywhere.

</rant>