Monday, June 30, 2014

Biggest Loser 5K

I had originally signed up for the Biggest Loser Half Marathon in Charleston, but due to this pesky muscle disease I dropped to the 5K. I wasn't sure until Thursday that I was even going to do that much! But what can I say, I like a challenge, I wanted my medal, and I knew I would regret it if I didn't at least try!

I decided to skip the packet pickup the night before this year and just go the day of the race. I had other things to attend to Friday, such as eating delicious pizza that I was too busy eating to get a picture of. And I went to a baseball game
See important stuff!

Anyway, going the morning of turned out to be a mistake! They ran out shirts! I've been pre-registered for this race a long time and I had to choose between a shirt like the one I got last year or a generic run/walk shirt. Since the shirts last year were white and I hate white, I went with the red generic one.
I'm gonna be honest, I'm disappointed. The other shirts were kind of an obnoxious orange, but they had a pretty picture of the state capitol on them. And they ran out of bags! But I was able to go back after the race and pick one of those up. It's just crazy that they don't keep out a certain amount for preregistered people.

Anyway, so the game plan for this race was to finish! One way or another. My family doctor told my mother that I was absolutely not allowed to run or I could risk injury or cause the swelling to come back. So I tried to be conscious of that and not push it. But let's be honest I did some running. I also did lots of walking though. It kinda sucked. My legs would hurt if I tried to run too long and my arms started hurting in my bicep area. But it was totally worth it. I loved being out there again. And the good thing about the Biggest Loser races is that you see ALL different types of people. The emphasis that they put on the walk option allows for a lot more diverse people to show up. It really is inspiring to see so many people with challenges of their own get out there and move!

The last mile I decided I would walk from one light to another and then run from that one to the next one. I did that a few times, but then I could see the finish line and I couldn't let myself walk to the finish!
And I did it!

Finish Time/Chip Time:  41:51.9    Gun Time: 1:09:54.9       Minutes/Mile:  13:30/M     

I actually had to email about my time. They had my chip and gun time as the same. But they quickly resolved that. I'm actually pretty pleased with my time considering my situation and the walking I had to do! A 13:30 mile average isn't too shabby! I'll post race pictures once they have them up.

The rest of my day consisted of going to heave, aka a Teavana tea shop. I'm trying to drink hot tea in the evenings instead of eating, so this place was fantastic! Wish we had one in my town!
Enjoying a cup of Caramel Salt Tea (with a splash of milk)
Then I rode with my mom after getting back home to watch my sister and boyfriend play softball in a charity tournament. It was a lot of fun! They lost horribly in both of the games they played, but it was still fun.
Starbucks Softball Team aka Bad News Bears! haha
After their final game and getting a bite to eat, we headed home. Then my boyfriend and I went to his parents house to celebrate his grandmother's birthday. They were setting up a pool so they were all doing that, but I was feeling tired and my arms were hurting so I decided to just go lay down for a few minutes on their couch...

TWO HOURS Later....

I woke up. I had completely passed out. I'm blaming it on the muscle disease, but it was slightly embarrassing.

As far as an update on how I'm doing. I still experience muscle pain and some trouble swallowing but it all continues to get better. I may have pushed it at the race on Saturday, but other than some arm pain and some tightness in my legs I feel like I'm doing pretty well. My weight is just out of control though. I don't even like looking at how round my face is right now. At this rate I'll have to buy a whole new wardrobe! The only thing I know to do is try my best to eat healthier foods, which can be a bitch because prednisone is making me want to eat all the freaking time! But I'm trying. I don't know if it will help slow down the weight gain, but it has to be better than just going free for all on junk food! And I'll continue to walk. I have to take days off in between to give my body rest, but it's just what I have to do right now.

I just have to keep in mind it's not forever, it's a temporary set back. And you better believe it will make me appreciate running and biking a lot more!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Fast and Furriest 5K/ 1Mile Walk

Hello there little Blog!

Things have been busy! I'll skip all the little details and get right to the fun stuff!

Last weekend I participated in the Fast and Furriest 5K/ 1 Mile Walk. It's an event to support the local Humane Society. As I mentioned before, my sister is involved with doing community work through Starbucks, so she offered to give out free coffee and tea. We also volunteered to walk shelter dogs!

I however, had the grand plan of walking my own dog to the soccer fields, where the event was held, walk the one mile and either walk back or get a ride back. The soccer fields are about a mile and a half from my home, so I didn't think it would be a problem. What I didn't count on is the fact that my little dog (the one that is friendly with other people and dogs) is out of shape and a bit pudgy now!
This is Sherlock, about a mile in.
About a mile or less into the walk, Sherlock was ready to go home! He stopped a couple of times and tried to turn around even! In the picture above, I was heading the opposite direction! But we finally got to the soccer fields and my pup was happy to be around other dogs and people. Haha.

This is a super small race, with all of the timing done by hand(!), so I quickly got registered for the 1 mile walk, got my shirt, and the volunteers handed out dogs to be walked.
My niece got the sweetest dog, Babe. She was timid around other dogs, but really friendly with people and listened well.
My sister on the other hand got the exact opposite. She received a very enthusiastic pitt bull, named Pebbles.
Here they are trying to wrangle him.
Pebbles was really fun, but a lot to handle! Thankfully we had a couple of extra people with us, so they all took turns being walked By Pebbles!

Headed to the start line.

Strutting our stuff on the mile walk.

This little guy didn't quite make it the whole mile. He got plumb tuckered out ;)

Starbucks Crew making people happy with caffeine!
It was a really good time. The only problem is, people had to wait around a long time to get the results from the 5K for awards and such. If the race continues to grow (this is only the second year of having it), they will have to figure out a different method for timing.

And by the end, Sherlock was done. My sister gave us a ride back to my house. Haha.

Afterwards, we got a bite to eat and we took my niece and nephew to see How to Train Your Dragon II. It was very cute! But I must have over done it a bit, because after that I took a good two hour nap! It was probably all the pulling I had to do to get Sherlock to walk with me!

Speaking of which, I have a bigger dog, half German Shepherd, half Lab maybe, that I've been trying to take on more walks. I'm going to try to get her to be my running dog. Since I'm starting over and just have to walk right now, it's a good time to start her out slowly. Hopefully she will do well. She doesn't do well with lots of other dogs and people, but I think she will be okay with just us. As long as we keep moving that is...

I'll update more about how I'm doing in my next post, which will include my first run/walk race since March when all of my muscle issues started!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Eating Everything In Sight

Damn you Prednisone. These steroids are making me crazy. I literally look like I'm going through puberty. My face is all broken out, I sweat more, my face is puffy, and I'm eating EVERYTHING I can get my hands on. Attractive, I know.

BUT I am mending. I'm still not whole, but I'm able to get my housework done and walk a bit. I've tried running/walking, but I get so sore the next day. My legs tend to feel like lead too when I run, but I'm going to keep trying it one to two days a week just to see how I progress and to hopefully build a little muscle back.

I've talked with the rheumatologist more about my polymyositis, she recommends not pushing myself right now. The problem is I can cause some serious muscle damage to my body if I push too hard. Right now I don't have any muscle damage that I can't recover from and I have a good chance of gaining all of my strength back (thanks to being young and in shape!).

I do have a small event this Saturday that I'm going to be volunteering with and walking a 5K. I did the same event last year, the Fast and Furriest 5K, but I didn't participate. My sister works for Starbucks and as part of their community outreach program, they are donating coffee and iced tea. She also got a small group together to participate in the 5K, so I told her I would do it with her! I just hope I can do it! I've walked 2+ miles so far, so I think I'll be okay.

Then on the 28th, I'll be participating in the Charleston, WV Biggest Loser Run. I thought about dropping out all together, but I want to see what I can do. I'll obviously not put any pressure on myself and if I'm hurting I'll stop, but I really want to try!

Hopefully those will give me something to talk about other than how much I eat in a day and how I feel like I'm 13 again!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

National Running Day

The running world is on fire for National Running Day! Are you running today? Taking those first scary steps? Wondering if the world is going to judge you for 'pretending' to be a runner, when really you can't run for more than thirty seconds (and yes running is a loose term)?
My badge, to make one go here.

That's how my first steps felt. I prayed that people wouldn't see me or if they did see that I didn't look like a fool who didn't know what I was doing.

And now, two and half years later, I love running. It has changed my life.

I also miss it. I am not magically better yet. The initial consensus so far is that I have polymyositis. More information Here. And I agree. My symptoms fit pretty closely now.  Its basically the same thing I had as a kid, with just a few variations.

Basically my body is fighting my muscles instead of healing them. I have weakness, I get tired easily, trouble swallowing (from weak esophagus muscles), and it's moved into my legs as well as my arms.
I don't know everything quite yet, but I think it might be something I fight on and off for the rest of my life. Right now I am on 60mg of Prednisone. I don't know if I will have to take additional medications. I still have to discuss a plan of action with the rheumatologist.

BUT! I am making some improvements. I felt well enough Sunday and Monday to try walking and then running for thirty seconds and then walking for one minute, for twenty minutes. I don't think it was very wise to do two days in a row, because I hurt a lot yesterday, but I was just so excited to be able to do something.
It's a start.
I'm starting over. And it's going to be a slow process, but I'm not going to let my body rule my life. I'll find out over time what my limits are, but right now, I can start.

I've sent an email requesting to volunteer for a triathlon on Father's Day weekend. I haven't heard anything yet, but I thought it would be fun to volunteer since I'm out of commission. I'll update more, if I hear anything.

I also have the Biggest Loser Run/Walk in Charleston, WV on the 28th. I switched from the half to the 5K. Obviously, there is no way I can do a half marathon at this point. I really hope I can do the 5K. I know lots of walking will be involved, but it's nice having a 5K to work towards. Hopefully my body will let me get there!