Wednesday, August 24, 2011

13.1 Minneapolis

After running this race 2 year sin a row I think I can say this is my favorite course, maybe it has something to do with both years being good races for me, who knows but I guess it means I keep running it. After a Summer of heat and humidity I was thrilled to be racing in perfect weather: 60F at the start, a little overcast and just a slight breeze. The race starts at the same spot as the 4th of July half but follows a much different course, one with smaller hills and much more shade.

I decided this would be the day I raced smart and lined up by the 1:35 pacer telling myself I wouldn't go out too fast. I also decided to take a different fueling strategy and carry 1 gel (Honey Stingers my new favorite) and take a small amount every water stop, I didn't realize there were water stops every mile though. A little overkill so I skipped the first and last but kept with the plan at the rest.

By Mile 2 I was ahead of the 1:35 pacer and decided to stick with it just running what felt good and giving myself a cushion of time in case I lost it later in the course. I was keeping pretty even splits between 6:59 - 7:05 for the first half. The Mile 6 split: 42:50 and on pace to run a 1:33-1:34, doing good now to keep this up. My legs are feeling good and my stomach is tolerating the gel, what more could I want?!
Having fun at the finish whilemommy and daddy run.
I get to the next water stop and as I grab water it spills over my Garmin and the watch is going crazy! This is why I need to remember to lock the bezel. I can't get the screen I want and finally decide I need to just stop messing with the watch and focus on running. Luckily I was still getting my splits but had no idea of my overall time or exact mileage. This would have been really helpful at the end! My splits are continuing 7:05 - 7:15, still good!

Mile 10 and a little hillier, wow my legs are deciding I've pushed enough! Just keep moving and try to keep a 7:30 pace and you'll be fine I keep telling myself. Pace now 7:15- 7:20. I know that after Mile 11 is a wonderful downhill, knowing this will help get me back on a better pace. And the downhill! The next 1.5 miles is an out and back and I start counting women in front of me, having no idea where I am sitting. I count 4, not bad. One is close, now if I can just catch and pass her. Less then 1 mile to go and I can hear the finish line, time to push it and see if I can get a sub 1:35, I know the pacer is close behind. I'm really wishing my watch was showing me my overall time right now. I see the clock at the finish line ticking away and think I have about 5 seconds extra.

Post Race Beer, what else do you need at 9am?
 Done! The clock says 1:35:04, I did it maybe? Nope! 1:35:00 Official chip time (7:15 pace), 1 second, if only I'd known! 90th overall, 16th woman and 4th in age group. Last year was a much slower group, this finish would have gotten me an overall place, not this year, guess that's what happens when there is $1000+ prize. Like a friend said, "Placing is about who else shows up, but PRs are all about you!"

I am thrilled with the finish time and the race, but you set these random time goals and when it is so close it's almost worse then being far away. Last year this race started my streak of PRs and again I was able to set a PR (by almost 3 minutes), hopefully this will be the start of another PR streak.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Answers: some good, some bad

After dealing with almost 2 years of fatigue, abdominal pain, GI symptoms and multiple other issues I have answers! It seems so ironic and irritating that mainstream medicine missed the simplicity of this and insisted on doing expensive and invasive tests (which my insurance gladly paid for). After seeing many specialists I was told by my primary provider that I wasn't getting any further without out a colonoscopy I decided to leave my biased opinion of mainstream medicine behind and see a naturopathic doctor (which my insurance refuses to pay for).

The first visit lasted almost 2 hours where we discussed every issue I've had and possible testing options, the associated costs and next steps. This is one area mainstream medicine is lacking, The focus turned to me as a whole person and not just my GI system and I was given control over my care. The next visit I had answers! And they seemed so obvious. I've always had some sort of GI troubles since childhood, but after giving birth to Ophelia things were so much worse which now makes so much sense. The answer: the antibiotics given during my labor killed all the natural/good bacteria in my GI tract and I basically grew back none of it. The solution: probiotics, digestive enzymes, simple things. After a couple weeks on those I am feeling so much better,not quite normal yet, but on the way.

The bad answers: I also did a full spectrum of food allergy/sensitivity testing which I got back today. I reacted to 21 foods to varying degrees. Some I don't care about like papaya and sage, but others make me want to cry!
Some of my food reactions
Milk (figured this and don't drink milk, but ice cream is a different story)
Yeast (yikes, time to stop making my pizza dough recipe)
Peanuts (a doctor told me this as a kid too and I ignored it since I have an obsession with peanut butter) Eggs (not so tough)
Pineapple, Coconut (I guess no more Pina Coladas)
Almond (I love almond milk)
Wheat, Rye (I might not have celiac, but it looks like still a sensitivity)
Sugar (I've been trying to cut down, but I love dessert)

There are a few more that are mild reactions that might be tough like onion, tomato and zucchini. The recommendation right now is to cut out all the foods I reacted too until I feel better (likely 3 months) and then add back in the foods one at a time starting with mild reactions first. Looks like back on gluten free for me with the addition of some others. I can do this  (I hope) but first to rid the house of all the offensive foods again and get through my birthday next week eating whatever I want. The even worse part I recently learned that eggs are used in some red wines and didn't even think about the yeast used to ferment the wine until the doctor mentioned it, I need my wine!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Fit Generation 5K

Front of the pack
I don't normally run 5Ks but decided that this year I'd run a few to see what I could do. When I saw this race it was perfect, a 5K, a toddler run, and kids activities during the race. This was a small race with just over 100 finishers in the timed 5K and probably another 100 or so in the untimed stroller 5K. As we were lining up the lead cyclist came up and asked me how fast I would be running so she knew what pace she'd have to keep, what? I'm never the lead in these things! A few minutes later the RD approached Matt and I to tell us that the course was marked and to just follow the "girl on the bike". Once again, what?!

We started out running together with a few other men, I was trying to keep a 6:45 pace and was doing fine until the hills came. I had no idea what this course was and I quickly learned that the only flat part was the first 1/2 mile, ugh! The next 2 1/2 miles continued to be hill after hill. I continued to push as best I could, but the hills and humidity were tough. 3 miles and I'm still the lead woman and here's another hill up to the finish. 21:59 (7:05 pace) not a PR and not the sub 20 that I really wanted. I did it I actually won a race and a 5K at that! I guess all the speedy women stayed home. The most interesting part, I looked back and the 10 Mile I ran last Fall was at a 7:04 pace, I truly am not a short distance runner! All slow twitch muscle for me.

After the 5K finished was the kids race. They had failed to include an under 2 category so Ophelia got to run with the older kids. Matt lined up with her and she wasn't so sure of things until everyone else started running. This was when the huge grin came and she took off. Typically for these toddler runs you see a short 40 yard run, not here it just kept going for nearly 1/2 mile! Way to wear them out :-)  She got her ribbon for finishing which she decided was her snack.

After the kids race was the awards, for the first time I took my spot on top of the podium! Two plaques (overall and age group) and a signed book later the morning was done. Now to find a flat 5K to see what I can really do.