Sunday, October 17, 2010

This Isn't Over, the Pressure is on

Julia's Marathon Experience Part III

Ok, here you go-perhaps the most anticipated part of the marathon experience-and definitely the longest: RACE DAY.

Where did I leave off? Oh right, trying to sleep. I tossed and turned all night long. That's not surprising. I was anxious about missing my alarm, and being late-since I've been known to do that before. Turns out you don't need an alarm when you don't sleep. I don't normally have anxiety issues, but my heart rate was just through the roof and I absolutely could not shut off my brain. Finally and frustrated, I got out of bed at 4am and let out Goliath. I stood barefoot in the freezing dew and thought: Today, you run a marathon. I made myself some coffee and oatmeal. While each warmed up, I got dressed and stared at myself in the mirror. TODAY, YOU RUN A MARATHON.

I sat at our computer reading the news, and surfing trying to distract myself. I had hours to kill before I needed to leave. I woke up Logan, so he could get to work and take care of his weekend assignment before the race and not miss anything. He kissed me goodbye and said he'd see me in the first three miles. I sat back down, and blankly gazed at the monitor and tried to choke down oatmeal. Too nauseated to eat, I drank some water. Then, Logan called thinking it was him being sweet and wishing me luck I answered only to hear "Uhm can you come outside? My car is dead..." Sweet. I walked outside to see Logan's Acura stuck in the middle of the lot. It's a manual, so we thought we could give it a rolling start to get it to start. We pushed it up a hill, and then I'd push it down while he ran alongside. All in vain. It was dead. We both panicked, what are we going to do? This took a considerable amount of time: he had to go to work and I had to be at the race. He just told me to drop him off at his Mom's and he'll figure out how to get down there, he kept telling me not to worry-but like that was going to stop me.

I dropped him off, and ate a cliff bar on my way to the race since there was no time to eat my oatmeal. I tried to shake off nervous energy to some songs, but a mile away from my exit I found myself stuck in traffic-which hey happens with 11,000+ try to get to one place. I had originally planned on leaving earlier to avoid this situation, but the dead acura foiled me. I inhaled and exhaled and said Today, you run a marathon-it's going to be ok, you'll get there. I sat there for 45 minutes just trying to get OFF the highway. Then Eric texts me that parking took forever, and that's when the real panic set in. It was now 7:00, and I wasn't off the highway and guntime was in 30 minutes.

By the grace of God, I finally exited but only to sit at more lights and I knew I wasn't going to have enough time to park in the designated lot so I cruised downtown KC looking for an open spot on the street. Of course most were taken, so I resolved to park in a spot that may have been illegal. I geared myself up, threw my belongings in the trunk because I knew I didn't have time for bag/gear check and took off for the start line which was about 2.5 miles from there. I arrive, out of breath and more nervous then ever. Did I mention 30 minutes ago I realized I had to pee? It's now 7:20 and almost all the runners are in their corrals and lined up with their pacers-but guess who's frantically searching for port-a-potties? me. I couldn't find one and the anthem was starting. Crap. I had found Megan and Sofia, they wished me luck and I resolved to just use a bathroom along the course and take the time penalty.

I pushed my way to my 4:15 pace group, inhaled and exhaled. I was lined up with a gentlemen who had a giant foam cowboy hat on and suddenly realized this was suppose to be fun. Duh! I smiled and then the gun went off. I still had to pee, very badly, but I said just stop at the first available. My pacer was a lady named Carol, who has paced me in several other races. I knew if I just stuck with her I'd be ok and maybe my nagging bladder would go away.

The first mile seemed to crawl by and I still couldn't shut off my brain. There were so many people who I knew running this race, and I seemed to run into them every so often, they clinch my shoulder or wave to get my attention-wish me luck and then pass me. In the second mile, we made our way up a hill that according to my garmin was a ascent of 504 feet. It just seemed to go on and on and on. I confidently forged this hill, I remember thinking "uhm yeah hill repeats what's up." Atop the hill there were hundreds of people gathered to cheer, the hill we had just climbed was Kansas City's famous Liberty Memorial Hill. With all these people, and balloons it seemed like some political rally. Overwhelming really, I looked at all the faces. Now, it's all blurry but running through it I could see everyone so vividly. I scanned each face, looking for a familiar one. Then I saw bathrooms...then I saw the line. I decided I could wait and pressed forward.

Remember that hill Megan and I were joking about? Well turns out we had to run the opposite side. It's that hill of infamy from Hospital Hill Marathon in June, the one that we approached at mile 12 that stopped us dead in our tracks. There it was. We hiked it, and our pacers stopped to walk and said "We'll need this energy for later" Little did I know how right she was. This was about the time when an old high school class mate passed me with her mom. We picked up the pace, and mile three was done. Thirty minutes were behind me, three miles complete and I felt okish despite my nagging bladder. I saw my husband, elated I waved and he pointed to the opposite street where I saw my mom holding a giant sign.

This is about the time where I started to really panic. My stomach started to hurt because I had been holding it for so long. I started asking volunteers where the next bathroom stop would be, but no one seemed to know. Mile five was approaching, and it had nearly been an hour of running with a full bladder. There were plenty of businesses along the route, but I wanted to stop in a race sanctioned stop, ya know? So I just kept going and going. Finally, it got to the point where I had to pee so bad that running was nearly impossible. I stopped because the even a jog was putting an immense pressure on my bladder. Of course the second, I stopped running I lose momentum. I knew in my head if I lost my pace group, I probably wouldn't recover either so it was so hard for me stop-but physically I had to.

The second I stopped, I saw my mom and husband again who just looked at me like what the heck are you doing?! I yelled at them why and I hoped they understood. Coming up on the course I knew there a few gas stations, and I KNEW I had to stop. I pulled to left, out of the pack and ran up to the station store, upon entering I saw two other racers in line. Dang it. We stood there for about five minutes waiting on someone else in the bathroom. Frustrated and adrenaline pumping all three of us decided that if whoever it was didn't emerge in 1 minute we would knock, and finally that time came around. The girl first in line knocked to see if the occupant was ok. The response we got was less than desired, especially after waiting for what was now nearly 10 minutes. The lady screams (not even exaggerating) "I'M IN HERE AND DOING MY BUSINESS I'LL BE OUT WHEN I'M DONE!" Well alright. Nothing like getting yelled at while someone is clearly having pooping issues. I waited another five minutes before giving up and moving to the next gas station, which was a Quik Trip less than a block away. I got there and it was basically the same situation, I waited another five minutes there and finally had relief.

The damage was done though, the grief from holding it in for over an hour had fatigued my abdomen and used a lot of energy. I tried to recover quickly with a GU, and luckily there was an aid station pretty quickly thereafter. Mile eight was approaching, and I was still on target for a 4:20 finish, I saw my cheerleaders again who got a wave and an emotional nod. Now, I have to mention that even though I was still near my target time at this point my attitude was miserable. I wasn't feeling "right" something in me was internally irritated and irrational, like the sun got in my eyes and it pissed me off-or a song on my play list that I love would piss me off. The big 8 passed and I was looking directly into the sun, and had a headwind. I just got angry. ANGRY. I felt my jaw tensing, my lips pursed and then the weird phenomena: my arms went completely numb. My hands weren't purple so I couldn't blame it on circulation, it was my tension.

This is actually coming up on mile 20

I can't tell you how irritating it is to have two limbs you can't feel. I need my arms to propel me forward, and I just couldn't even feel them. annoying. So there I was: Mile 8.2 pissed to hell because of a rude runner in the bathroom, fatigued as crap already and with numb appendages. I convinced myself that I should walk a bit to calm down, regroup and pep up. I closed my eyes, shook out my arms and inhaled then exhaled. We ran through the beautiful plaza for the next two miles, y'all have seen a few of my races down there (trolley run, dog-n-jog). Then this wave of indescribable sickness and pain hit me, I was approaching mile 10 when it happened. It was like getting struck with an emesis lightning bolt-but as quick as it hit, it was over. I clenched my tummy, bent over and hurled just missing my timing chip. My mind couldn't help but focus on what other people were thinking, they probably thought that I was under trained or over ambitious.

I pulled out my phone and sent a text to Logan "i just puked mile 11 is coming" and he responded he'd be at mile 14. I started getting really overwhelmed, Today I was WALKING a marathon crept into my head. I just kept trying to put on foot in front of the other, and then I remembered my dedication. I looked up and "Waka Waka" by Shakira came over and I had this minute of inspirational push. I gritted my teeth, and felt this urge to cry due to abdominal pain but tears wouldn't come out. I knew if I could let go of the tears, I could move on. If I could just let them out maybe I'd be able to get over the anxiety and pressure and just RELAX.

I kept curling over in absolute agony, as pace group after pace group passed me. I started hoping that Eric would catch up with me, so I wouldn't have to be alone anymore. I quickly went from finishing in under 4:20 to just finishing. Sure enough, I started up another hill when I looked down and saw Eric. Heavens to Betsy, relief. I was comforted to be able to have just someone there. He could see the agony in my face, asked me if I needed a hug-apparently I looked like I did. We tried to push the next few miles with a walk-jog-run-walk combination. At this point, I had stopped sweating and couldn't really walk a very straight line. We crossed the threshold of the half way point. As we were approaching, there was this couple who held hands and asked a stranger to take their picture in front of the mile marker. It was really sweat, their first marathon together.

After mile 13, Eric told me to go ahead my legs were turning to stones and I knew walking wasn't doing me any favors. I struggled onward, it kept me going knowing that Logan and my mom were ahead somewhere. Then it hit again, the emesis lightning bolt. Numb arms, bent over perpendicular to the group and revisiting my strawberry-banana GU, if you know what I mean. I stood back up, walked if off and kept going. All these stops, all these attitude adjustments-all these things were totally harshing my marathon experience. I kept wondering: Where's my magic? Where's my emotional breakthrough? I wanted to be able to soak every ounce of this, every inch of the 26.2 and all I could focus on is how I wanted this over. I so badly wanted it to end, but it was a marathon-they are like never ending, and that's kinda the point.

What killed me was that at mile 13.1 we didn't turn around and started heading toward the finish. That makes sense no? Apparently that's psychologically too easy. We had to run another 4 miles south and make a hypotenuse like return to the origin. That messed with my head so bad, it's so easy for me to mentally tackle a split on an out and back-but for some reason I just couldn't do the math on this. Yeah, I had reviewed the course before but it's a whole 'notha story once you're out there. Mile 16 came and this is when things started getting really real. The crowds had thinned, but there were still people along the way: high school cheer squads, volunteers and neighbors-everyone. The runners now were more spread out, and now each time you'd pass they could see your bib and cheer you on personally. I felt like the most pathetic celebrity alive, they'd say my name and it felt good and shameful at the same time. These strangers kept telling me to keep going and sharing in one of the most vulnerable moments of my life. I have never ever felt so weak, so tired and so sick and here they were telling me I was strong and to take it home.

I kept trying to think of certain monuments to look forward to, to keep me going. I knew where people would be and knowing that would keep me running temporarily. I couldn't hold my pace for very long, but every time I'd stop I would at least try to start again. Right after 16 passed, I saw my family including my sister in the distance. They all had signs, they were screaming their heads off. I wanted their energy. I wanted it refuel me but more than anything I wanted to stop and let them sweep me off the course. I kept going, anyway-but I admit, I really really didn't want to.

The next few miles were about the same, equally tough but I started a new battle with fatigue. I literally started falling asleep while running. I would forcing myself to run, and my eyes would droop and I felt like I could just nod off. I fought this giant internal war to not take a nap, you can not nap and run and finish a marathon. The muscle fatigue in my core was no better even, and right around mile 18 I started feeling full on muscle failure in my obliques and transabdominals. They vibrated like they were receiving texts messages, and holding myself up became a chore-but throwing up a third time was even more of a chore. Mile 19 came, and I saw volunteer friend Scott who I think could see things weren't going right. I tried to choke out that I've been puking to offer up an explanation-but I'm pretty sure my face was reason enough. He told me to take it home and I started to count down the miles.

I figured that once I saw mile 20, maybe I'd be able to just have this complete out of body experience and have the last SIX MILES flash forward. FAIL Worst assumption ever. Mile 20 is when things only got really more realer. My family was starting to get worried that I wouldn't finish in under 6 hours, and until that point I had never even thought about it. They shouted at me how much time I had left to get those last six miles in-and I thought Today, you FINISH a marathon. I had to finish, but I couldn't help be discouraged. How did this happen? How had things gone so wrong? How did I go from a 4:15 to worrying about making the 6 hour time limit? This is what I had trained for? This is what the last three months had been all about?

This is The Man, Steve!

Mile 20 marked my BFF Megan guarding a street. I had waited the whole race to pass her by, and all I could feel was shame. She waved at me as a motorist tried to get through on the course. Miles 21-24 were lucky enough to contain my fourth puking episode and I was lucky enough to meet a fellow struggler named Steve. I noticed we were both following the same pattern of agony, so I asked him how many of these he had done. It was his 5th. We shot the poop for the next mile or two, and the conversation was distracting enough to get to mile 25.5. I gave him my laundry list of go-wrongs and he laughed and said "Yup, you've had a bad day" I quickly told him that I don't think I'll ever being doing this again, half marats were for me. He again laughed, knowing the certainty that this could not be my only and last marathon. He encouraged me to stop by the medical tent WHEN I finished. When? Oh that's right? He then said "Guess what? In less then 6 minutes you'll be able to sit down" Glory!

We turned a corner and I saw Logan and Emily running toward me, screaming my name. They were saying the finish line was just here and I have 15 minutes to finish. I picked up, and according to my garmin I pushed that last quarter mile at an 8:30 pace. I don't know how. Megan, came in the shute with me and people were just screaming at me. I couldn't hold my head up, and halfway there I doubled over in pain. I heard a "NO! GET UP!" and I did. I saw the blue mats, then I saw my feet touch the blue mats and then I stopped. I was done.

Finished. That was it. Where were my tears? I still just couldn't let go. I think part of it was I didn't want to waste my tears on such an experience I was totally unsatisfied with-but I think it was largely due to dehydration. I gathered my medal, my finished shirt, and some food that I knew I wasn't going to be able to eat. I walked away from the shute and found the closest patch of grass and just laid down.

It was finally over. I finished in 5:48 and some change, a full hour and thirty minutes off my goal time. I did everything right in training a prep, but when you mentally wear yourself down and your luck plays out like a series of unfortunate event, it happens. I wanted to badly to be happy with finishing, but in my heat I felt cheated. I wanted better, and I know it's natural to be slightly disappointed. I knew I had to do some major reflection on accomplishment and the like. So I returned home from the race to do so.

This concludes Julia's Marathon Experience Part III, if you read this whole thing you're the best thing ever.

Up Next: Julia's Marathon Experience Part IV: Recovery and Reflection

The Last Night of Your Life

Julia's Marathon Experience Part II

By Friday morning, I had already lost too much sleep and what little sleep I was getting was full of anxiety dreams. The encroaching race was consuming me entirely. By Thursday evening, I had already pinned my bib to my shirt, tagged my shoe and set out all my gear. So what was left for Friday?

Well Friday, I had to work a full shift (in retrospect I wish I had taken this day off) and then had planned a pasta party for friends who were also racing. I had done most of the cooking Thursday evening, since I truly didn't have a spare minute Friday. So after work, I rushed my moms to get the rest of the food prep done for my friends Eric (ala training run), Megan (ala half marathons) and Megan's Megan (her friend). My two biggest fans were also in attendance, obviously: My mom and my husband...oh and Goliath.

Easy food prep the night before

If I'm allowed to say it, the food was pretty good. I roasted zucchini, and onions in minced garlic and olive oil, grilled chicken and made a gigantic salad with home made dressing. It was super easy to prep early, and super easy to get ready the evening of. Everyone arrived and we feasted, it was really great. Megan and I got a little nostalgic about previous races, and we joked about a specific hill in hospital hill. We prayed it wouldn't be a part of this race.

And then I TRIED to sleep...

It Was Only Just a Dream

alright, followers. I lived. barely.

I'm going to post my marathon story in multiple parts, starting with the Thursday before and ending with the day after (today).

Julia's Marathon Experience PART I
My anxiety started way before Thursday, but this is when it started getting really unbearable. I tried to think about anything but the race but that was all that was on my mind. I was worried, excited, planning, and everything in between. I felt like I had SO much to do, and so little time to do it. So Thursday, the second I left work I picked up my friend Sofia who was running the 5k and we headed straight to the expo. The expo opened at 4 and we were there at 4:15. We got a little confused because we were told to park one place but the expo was like two blocks away, and we got a little panicked when there were like three other conventions going on and we couldn't find the right one. Finally, we saw one guy with a marathon t-shirt and back trekked his steps through this building connector thing.

We finally found it after walking almost a mile and searching buildings. We knew we were in the right place the second we went through the doors though. I have never been a part of such a big race. To me packet pick up entails: stating your name and a happy race volunteer handing over you a bib and a t-shirt. Not this time around, we walked up to table where we got our registration receipt printed off. Then we proceeded to stroll to aisles of booths for things like bondi bands, disney marathons, chiropractic care and the like-oh and Quintiles? What the heck were they doing there...

Our registration receipts, how official!

After being bombarded with freebies like pens, magnets, and a tiara we finally made our way to the pick up stations. We handed over our tickets to a volunteer who acquired our bibs and chips, and then to another volunteer who matched our shirts. We were stopped several times on our way out by other booths, most notably was the cute old couple who were all about this alkali-water treatment system. They made us try their super special water, and all I could say was "uhm it tastes like water?" and he continued to tell me why I needed this thing to be a better runner. I'm done jumping on the product to be 'better runner' bandwagon, been there-tried that-the only thing that makes ME a better runner is ME.

oh hay thar.

And this concludes Julia's Marathon Experience Part 1.

Friday, October 15, 2010



BIB # 319

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

It's Business Time

So y'all know the hubs has gone running with me in the past. He's definitely more of a sprinter than a long distance runner, but for WHATEVER reason he decided he was going to start running with me. Obviously, I'm ecstatic! More time doing what I adore with the two beings that I love the most is magical. Unfortunately, I don't think he'll ever be running marathons or 5ks-he's interested in getting in better shape, and increasing lung capacity for our frequent snowboarding trips. But hey whatever gets you on the trial!

If you remember our last run together, I pushed him way to hard and he was hesitant to ever go again. We ran four miles that day, and he was deadsies. So I pinky swore we wouldn't run more than two miles, and I'd let him set the pace and decide when we'd walk. The weather was rainy, and cool-which is my favorite running weather. Logan, however, hates getting wet. So all variables in mind, it was-again-not an ideal run.

We walked to warm up for half a mile, I joked about how Goliath is AWFUL on the lead while walking but the second we run he's all about business. Sure enough, once we started to pick up the pace Goliath stopped sniffing and started leading. Logan's natural jogging pace is pretty quick, but I let him test the waters. I never did any beginning running program like Couch to 5k, so I'm not well versed in the best ways to START running. I just know how to STAY running. When I started, I just went at it.

The half mile we ran was pretty quick, our pace dropped from 20min/miles to 8:30s. He did really well, but I could tell that was a struggle for him. We walked the rest of the way home, and did get no more than 2.0 miles like I promised. On our way back, he looked at me, laughed and said "Running sucks!" I laughed and agreed, but added that it sucks when you start. I told him once you start seeing progress, or getting better it doesn't suck so much-but then there's always the chance that he'll never fall in love, or even like with the sport-and that's ok too. Running isn't for everyone.

Ideally, nothing would make me happier than completing a race with the hubs. I am infatuated with that idea-but I know it will likely never happen. But I can dream right? We'd make quite the cute running family.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Never Know What You're Going to Find

Alright friends, we only have five days left. My insides are already churning. I'm getting flutterflies in my belly. I am so overwhelmed. AHH!!!

Honestly, I'm not sure where I'm at. I truly not sure what to expect and what time I'm going to finish. I guess I care and I don't care, I want to finish obviously but I want to do well. What I want more than anything though is to get this wait over with. Tapering is making my twitch. I want to run for longer than an hour. I want to run so long I can't feel my legs. I want to spend a whole day running....and I can't.

Saturday, I went on a run with my lovely seester. As of late, she's been upset that I have blogged about everyone but her. So maybe I signed her up to run a half marathon in November, and so maybe she's not trained for it-but she still loves me, and is ready to tackle this. I guaranteed her that running the half in November will get her a lot of blog-air and a super sweet t-shirt. Motivationally, it might not be for running accomplishment but she's doing it and I'm proud of her.

That's her on the left, obviously.

Emily has been my bestie friend since she was born. We kind of had some rough years growing up, but no matter the disagreement small or large-we've always managed to stay BFFS. Sharing a room with her for more than 14 years may have been challenging, but I wouldn't trade our late night talks as we tried to fall asleep or impromptu dance/jam sessions to Aqua or NSYNC for anything. Emmers was always an athlete, and still is-every sport out there she's dabbled with. We were a family of athletes (sans my brother), but she always has been the best. Hilariously, the only sport I loved she hated (volleyball) and the sports she thrived at: basketball, soccer, and running-I really couldn't stand.

We love each other.

She also ran cross country, and she was good. When she ran, I'd go to meets and never understand why these kids would run for so long. Funny right? Since then, she's pretty much stuck with soccer. ANYWAY. We went running to see where she was at so we can gauge where to start training. I don't like starting a run without a goal, but she just said "Let's go as far as I possibly can." We ran down KC's trolley track trail, which is where G and ran for strutt your mutt and the trolley run.

It was like "Take Your Dog to the Trail" day, there were a million people running with their dogs which always make it difficult for...everyone, because the dogs are always more interested in the other dog than who they are pacing with. Goliath did really well, except one time. He deemed only one dog worthy of a sniff, and since he was running on my right he wrapped around Emily. We averted disaster, but it was close. We took a few walking breaks, and turned around at the 2.5 mile mark.

Here's a tip: if you are ever running with a human partner, and you think it'd be cool to listen to the same playlist-DO NOT USE A HEADPHONE SPLITTER. That was the worst idea of the day. Between trying to coordinate Goliath and the splitter, Em and I were getting a little frustrated. So we are definitely nixing that idea, we'll just be importing the same playlist next time on different devices. The splitter was fun for like two seconds. Toward the end, neither of us were listening to much music anyway. I guess that's what it's like with running partners.

We finished five miles really strongly. I had more super duper cute pictures but blogger is being lame and won't let me upload. It was a family affair, our mom (y'all have met) went on a walk, and she met us back. Then it was bagel time. All in all, a wonderful way to spend my Saturday morning. It makes me excited to get in her into half training! Who wants to take bets she'll catch the marathoning bug too?!

Please see previous post for info on the newest giveaway!!

Total Distance: 5.0 Miles
Time: 50:12.13

Friday, October 08, 2010

Can Still Be Found

oh noes! deer on our trail!

WOAH. sorry. I suck. I know it's been well over a week since I updated but it hasn't been a week since I've been running and loving my pup. As you've already assumed, things got a little hectic around here-and yes the blog is the first thing that falls by the wayside when I have zero time.

Never to fear, the future looks less scheduled and what's that? THERE'S A MARATHON IN A WEEK.

This will likely be brief, but I just wanted to update y'all. I hate it when I get behind on posting, my camera fills with pictures and my mind fills with tales from the trail. So much like every run with G, let me try to catch up with FAQ:

Are you still training for a marathon?
-YES, I have been tapering. It has been very successful. I feel more rested and stronger than ever. My runs are slow, light and every other day-nothing exceeding 10 miles.
Are you nervous for your upcoming marathon?
-YES, a thousand times yes. A few weeks ago, I was more nervous than I am now. My anxiety has really shifted more towards anticipation.
Will you poop yourself during your race?
I don't know why people ask me this all the time, but NO-I will not be pooping myself during the most important race of my life.
Have you started carbo-loading?
I constantly carb load, so yeah sure.

Part VI of 12DoGA
Alright, so there's that. I recently mailed out some of the last giveaways and it's time for a new one....don't get excited it's small!

You may have noticed a new page called "Goliath's Gang" and it's blank! I'd like to post pictures of all my followers dogs and little story about your dog! If you'd like to be included please
In your email include a photo of your dog preferably with you, his/her story(age, breed, and name) any web address you'd liked linked with your pictures-if none, no biggie-and your mailing address!
Everyone who submits a photo will get a goodie bag from Goliath!

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Life Changes on a Daily Basis

I started running to lose weight, but I started to lose weight because my health was deteriorating. For me it wasn't all about vanity, how do I know this? Because I wore the same size at 150 that I did at 180. I looked the same, but I didn't FEEL the same. If you read my story, and if you haven't you can find it in the 'About Us' section, you know this all started at a doctor's visit. A visit because I felt like crapola all the time. A visit that revealed I had borderline hypertension, my cholesterol was high and I was high risk for diabetes.

This morning, I volunteered at a health fair to promote wellness in downtown KCMO. At the fair we offered health screenings, rapid HIV testing, diabetes screening and kidney function tests. For hours I talked with people struggling with weight problems, congestive heart failure and the like. The fair was about being proactive, being accountable for your health and most importantly being AWARE. It was frightening that after 33 rapid HIV tests, four individuals tested positive. By the end of the event around 100 people had been tested, and screened. After discussion, we determined that high cholesterol and high blood pressure were of the most common conditions in the area and were most typically as a result of obesity as the primary cause. A lot of the volunteers were shocked, but I was ashamed to admit I wasn't. In fact, I could relate. I had been there.

I wish I had my lab results from 2008, but this year I'm happy to report the following:
Total Cholesterol: 151
HDL Cholesterol: 41
TC/HDL Ratio: 3.7
HbA1c: 5.0
Glucose: 92 non-fasting
Blood Pressure: 122/77
BMI: 24
HIV: nonreactive

What does all that mean? Here's a brief rundown, skim and skip as needed

♥What is Cholesterol? Cholesterol is a soft, waxy substance found among the lipids in the bloodstream and in all your body's cells. It performs important functions in a healthy body; however, high cholesterol levels indicate an increased risk for heart disease. Desirable total cholesterol is less than 200 mg/dL, HDL often termed good cholesterol is optimal between 40-50mg/DL and TC/HDL Ratio should be less that 5.0.

♥What is Hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c)? The HbA1c test measures the amount of blood glucose chemically attached to a specific portion of the hemoglobin molecule carried by red blood cells. As a red blood cell travels in the bloodstream it picks up glucose. The higher your blood glucose, the more your red blood cells will accumulate. The HbA1c result reflects your average blood glucose level for the previous 2-3 months. Normal HbA1c levels for people without diabetes is less than 6%.

♥What is Glucose? Glucose is referred to as blood sugar, and is the main source of energy from living organisms. Glucose levels rise after a meal. Levels may remain abnormally elevated in people with diabetes. The desirable fasting adult blood glucose level is less than 100 mg/DL. Two hours after a meal, the normal blood glucose level range for a non-diabetic adult is between 140-199 mg/DL

♥What is Blood Pressure? Blood pressure readings are given in two numbers. The first number is the systolic pressure, which is the pressure in your arteries when your heart is contracting. The second number is the diastolic and is the pressure in your arteries when your heart is at rest. Normal blood pressure is around 120/77 mmHg

♥Ya'll know what BMI is, but just in case a normal BMI is between 18-24.

Are you in charge of your health?
Why or Why not?
Part VI of 12DoGA: Winter throw-away gloves that benefit breast cancer research.
Comment with ONE THING that you've done this week to be accountable for your health, winner will be drawn tomorrow.

Yesterday's Mileage: 5.0
Time: 45:51.18

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Baby, We Were Born to Run

Wellst obviously, it's Monday which means yesterday was Sunday and that means the before was Saturday which means: I had a race. Get it? Because Ok never mind. Wellst, the 5k on Saturday was my favorite 5k of the year. Why? You're gonna have to read on to find out.

Saturday was the first ever Strutt with Your Mutt 5k in Kansas City. SWYM has always been a 3k walk through historic brookside with your pup to raise money for Wayside Waifs, KC's largest no-kill shelter. This year they decided to add a 5k portion that you could run with your dog. UHM-Hi, have you met us? We signed up instantly. When we showed up on Saturday, Goliath was in absolute heaven. There were booths with treats, hundreds of other dogs and people who didn't mind he jumped up to say 'hello!'

Upon arrival, he was in awe.

It was the first time for the 5k, and it became pretty clear this wasn't mean to be a very competitive 5k. There were no bib numbers, no chip timing (just a running clock) and oh we were running with our dogs. I noticed none of the local elite runners were there which kinda got my gears turning. We lined up at the mini-start, which doubled as the finish line.

They made a few announcements, and we were off. They actually started the race a few minutes early! Woah. So the first quarter mile was really thick. People were bumping into each other, dogs were darting back and forth-it was pretty chaotic. There were a lot more people running without dogs that I had expected, and they had the people sans pups line up toward the front. That made no sense to me, I would think that an event to benefit dogs where you run the dogs-the dogs would take priority. Am I right?

When I say it was thick, I mean it. It took us a while to break away from the big pack, but Goliath was a maneuvering rock star. He steered and I was along for the ride. Maybe it was instinct, but he darted around people and found the optimal and efficient routes. By the halfway mark which was also an aid station, I started to realize I could see the leader. I stopped and let Goliath get a drink, but he wasn't willing to waste anytime. The aid station volunteers told me to get to it because I was the second girl the pass. UHM EXCUSE ME?!

Yes, that is his tongue!

After that news, we got tunnel vision. We turned right and another right, and there they were the only people in front of me. I counted them all and the took a picture. Only eight people in front of me, and only two of them had dogs.


With the leaders in view, we got entirely too motivated. It felt like we were running 7s, but it was really 8s. I just wasn't use to running balls to the wall like that, but Goliath was. I'm sure the look on my face was priceless, most likely absolute terror. I felt like my heart was maxing out. One of the blockade officers laughed as we ran by, he said "Hey that's not fair! He's pulling you!" Listen bud, you wanna try to keep up with Goliath?? Be my guest. There was a pretty decent hill, and I passed one of gentlemen in front me. Unfortunately, my shoe came untied with less than a quarter mile to go. Panicked I had an internal dilemma, and decided to tie it even though it might have meant someone passing me. Luckily, there wasn't anyone near enough. We sprinted across the finish line and looked down at my garmin for the first time since the start, then the DJ says "Look at her checking her time! That's what it takes to be top 10!" balls. top 10. I came in 8th overall, and I was the 2nd female. Goliath was the 2nd canine.

I told someone a long time ago that I would win a local race one of these days, this just proved to me that I could. I won't cheapen this victory, so don't roll your eyes at the race design or number of runners. No matter how you spin it and try to lessen this, I came in 8th overall and 2nd female overall. You can't argue that.

This blogpost brought you by FLASHCAKES! The chocolately treat guaranteed to make you a super fast speed racer! Want a box of your own? Comment us: tell us one SPEEDY fact about yourself-it can anything, and be sure to include your email address. One person will selected randomly....and yes this is Part V of 12DoGA and yes they are bad for you :)

Mileage: 3.35 (it was actually long!)
Time: 24:18