Tuesday, June 28, 2011

"at least you're trying!"

-- he yelled condescendingly as he drove by during my monday evening run.

am i running that slow? (yes, it was an easy day)

do i look that fat? (i didn't think so)

why are we so quick to judge others, be it in running or life in general?
  • he doesn't know that today was an easy run day, and that i hit my target hr zone like a champ.
  • he doesn't know that two days ago i did my first brick (/bike ride period) of the year, and my hamstrings are still sore from the effort.
  • he doesn't know that i've run 10 marathons and qualified for both nyc and boston.
  • he might think i have room for improvement here:
six pack abs

 and here:
runner's legs
  • but he doesn't know that these muscular legs beat a lot of thinner, skinnier girls in races.
  • he doesn't know that today i have another appointment with the cardiologist.

"be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle." --[plato]

Friday, June 24, 2011

one dollar

my almost-free gatorade
$1 motivation
thursday after work i was not really in the mood to run or exercise in general, but i remembered i had a cvs "extrabucks" coupon ... for $1.00. i just could not let that $1 go to waste! unfathomable. luckily there are three cvs's within 2-3 miles from my house (umm and i live in suburbia -not a city- it's ridiculous, there are also 2 rite aids and a walgreen's in case i ever need a fix). my big $1-off coupon motivated me to go run and stop by a cvs on the way back for a treat, a cold gatorade. hey, whatever it takes.

during the run i had to take an urgent call from mother nature, but i was running in neighborhoods, i couldn't just duck into a store or restaurant. i happened upon a house undergoing a renovation with a porta-john in the front yard. a freshly-cleaned, not yet used, two still-wrapped rolls of toilet paper porta-john. the problem was the high school aged kid next door was loading wheelbarrows of mulch for his parents right next to the porta-john... the thing about a fresh porta-john is that the bowl is empty, and much more likely to make splashes. well i created one, and i could hear the kid next door say "ugghhhh!". i'd like to assume he was irritated at having to do yardwork...

mother nature now has an iphone

thursday (6/23) pm run: 8.5 miles / 9:02 avg pace / 81-77°

Monday, June 20, 2011

product review: cardionet event monitor

are you tired of adjusting and readjusting your uncomfortable heart rate monitor strap?

irritating heartrate monitor

well look no further! now you can rent a cardionet event monitor. equipped with two simple electrode patches and one handy-dandy belt clip, the cardionet monitor records your heart rate at the push of a button!

cardionet event monitor
sorry, not showing you the electrodes on my own body

simply push the "record" button and cardionet will store the previous 60 seconds and next 30 seconds of hr data.

pros:
easy to put on
much less irritating than an hr strap
never needs to be washed - just change the patches
free return shipping

cons:
only stores 6 recordings at a time (9 minutes total)
can't review data (have to send data to cardionet - who then sends it to your doctor)
kind of pricey at two easy payments of $299.99 per month

customer service: 
i don't remember the guy's name who helped me set up my monitor, but he was very polite and friendly. i wonder if he's used to getting yelled at by old people. he sounded like he was from minnesot-da but i was disappointed that he never said "you bet-cha"!

so 60 years from now, be sure to request cardionet for all your cardiac monitoring needs. that is, if you don't have alzheimer's and still remember this.

being sassy with my monitor

disclaimer: cardionet sent me an event monitoring device at full price to me. 

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

from er to pr

ok so... don't be mad at me, but i ran a race saturday (i was already registered for it).

prefontaine suicide pace
my racing heart episodes were less-frequent tuesday (post-er) and wednesday. i didn't have any episodes thursday, so i tested the waters with an easy 30-min run friday morning. i ran with josh and took my cell phone just in case. it was slow, but otherwise uneventful. i've gone coffee-free all week and started a magnesium supplement. i'm hoping that fixing my magnesium level is all i need, but i suppose i'll find out more with the cardiologist.

i decided to go ahead and run the race because i had no episodes on thursday or friday, and i had felt fine during last sunday's mile repeat workout. i was also telling myself that the doc ruled out the "bad stuff" and told me i could continue my "normal activity". i need to find my confidence so i can run without fear again. i needed to "get back on the horse".

my alarm went off at 4:30am saturday morning and i was wishing i hadn't registered for this race; soo early. the race was at 6:30 with packet pick up starting at 5:30, and it was a 20-30 minute drive away. i peeled out of bed, poured some cereal in a bag, and we hit the road.

i was debating between running easy and going for it. you know me, i'm hard-headed/stubborn/competitive with myself so i decided to go for it. i checked my pace in the first quarter-mile and eased up slightly, letting other females go, knowing i needed to run smart. my patience paid off soon when i passed a lot of those women within the next mile. i settled in with a woman in a pink and black skirt who was holding a similar pace for about two miles until she abruptly stopped right in front of me at the water station. just stopped! i scooted around her, took a few sips of water, dumped the rest on my head and continued on.

the wheels started to fall off in mile 4 and my mental game wasn't strong enough to fight back. i passed a chick who can run in a sports bra and not scare people (jealous) and gave a half-hearted thumbs up. it's what i try to do in races since some people run with headphones but now i am thinking maybe they can't even tell i am giving a thumbs up and my hands just look floppy. my sports-bra-runner envy turned out to be jen of fit360! we have similar pr's and have joked about battling it out in some local races, and now we actually were. she recognized me, but my brain wasn't functioning at the time. luckily we met up at the finish and went for a little cool down chat. i know! me, doing a cool down! i'm trying to be heart-smart and ease the hr down gradually, i figure it won't hurt.

running in to the finish
looking like rainbow bright in all my non-matchy-ness

jen and me with our awards
we both took 1st in our respective age groups
pic kindly borrowed from fit360

saturday (6/11) race: 8k / 35:33 (avg pace 7:07) / 68º
9th overall female/1st age group
shaved 18 seconds off my previous pr

heart update
felt normal thursday, friday, saturday. "pressure" feeling in chest during slow run sunday. episode sunday night :(

Thursday, June 9, 2011

my achy breaky heart

first of all, thanks so much for the caring comments/emails/texts/wwf messages! it's almost like you'd miss me if something happened. :)

background:
for a week+ (maybe two weeks at this point) i've been having a "racing heart" (i call them "episodes") at bed time and/or in the middle of the night. usually my pulse is somewhat normal, but it feels like my heart is racing. sometimes my pulse is actually fast. usually i feel like i have to catch my breath. i do not wake up sweaty; i do not remember any dreams. the only medication i take is allegra and vitamins (b6, primrose oil, inositol).

friday (6/3) - easy, hour-long morning run. allergy shots day. had a few adult beverages and didn't go to bed until 3:30am (slept til 9:30). one of those beverages was an 'orange bomb' which had monster energy drink in it. perhaps the extra caffeine had a delayed effect? no mid-night episodes, though maybe i was too inebriated to notice.

saturday (6/4) - mid-morning run on a trail (aka slow), 1 adult beverage at the wedding, bed time around 12:30? again, no mid-night episodes.

sunday (6/5) - evening mile repeats. felt a normal amount of discomfort during run. episodes before bed and in the middle of the night.

monday:
i texted my mom (a former nurse) for advice. she has had thyroid issues in the past and i thought this might be related. she suggested i go to a doctor. my mom rarely thinks an ailment needs to be checked out by a doctor... (and thankfully i've never had a serious problem prior to this).

had some episodes at work in the afternoon along with a heartburn-like feeling and general "pressure" (hard to explain). google racing heart + heartburn and learn that angina often feels like heartburn. not comforting.

woke up numerous times from 11pm-3am with more episodes and shortness of breath.

tuesday:
skipped my morning coffee (in case the caffeine is having an effect). for the record i only drink 1 travel-sized mug of coffee 5-days a week, i am not constantly visiting the coffee pot at work like most people. one of my co-workers tells me it's the caffeine from eating too many m&m's, but i've laid off those for the most part since going dairy-free.

after waking up, i just didn't feel normal. i'd like to assume it was because i was thinking too much about what is going on. i tried calling around for an appointment with an internist but only found a noon slot with my general practitioner (who i really didn't want to see because he is your typical doctor - short appointments/little talking, happy to scribble on his prescription pad to fill his quota with pfizer).

i went to tell my boss what was going on and that i'd be gone for a little bit later in the day. he offered to take me to the emergency room because if it was him, he'd go, just to be safe.

waiting for my expensive bag of spinach
honestly, i was getting scared. knowing my gp would be worthless (a blood test would have to be sent out to a lab anyway) i decided to play it safe. josh took me to the er around 9am and i was released back into the wild around 4pm. my blood pressure was checked a bajillion times, ekg was monitored for almost 7 hours, blood work came back mostly normal and i was administered one bag of magnesium (mine came in at 1.7mEq/L, a "normal low" is 2.0). i had to pee but i did not want to have to use a bedpan so i held it.

part of the blood tests were on my thyroid levels (normal) as well as to check for heart disease/issues. i didn't know you could test the blood to see if there was muscle damage to the heart, that's pretty cool. the doc ruled out the "bad stuff" and set me up with a cardiologist for further testing (appointment next tuesday). i asked if i needed to take it easy and he said i could do my "normal activity". i assume that includes running...

but, i haven't run since sunday. i was going to try a short, easy run wednesday evening but a thunderstorm popped up so i watched more netflix movies instead. i think i may reach the end of netflix soon.

so... that's where i am. it's not a very exciting story since i walked myself in the emergency room but i am totally fine with a 'boring' story.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

not dead

me in the emergency room
you can't see it, but i'm hooked up to an ekg and an iv drip

i'm ok (i expect to run tomorrow).
(i figured that'd make you feel less worried)

alien invasion


i've been invaded by aliens. two quality workouts in one week, 34.8 miles total. also known as "what i should have done to train for the marathon i ran a few weeks ago" (or 7 other ones before it).

memorial day 800's - 6 of them - 3:19, 3:19, 3:19, 3:21, 3:18, 3:21
i don't remember what my goal time was, but i'll take the 3:19 average. it was warm, 80º.

steamy sunday mile repeats - 3 of them - 6:59, 7:00, 6:54
after a long, booze-filled wedding weekend in tennessee, i wasn't quite able to hop out of bed early in the morning to run. i waited out a late afternoon t-storm which dropped the temp from 93-ishº to 71-ishº, but it was still quite muggy. i ran through steam rising off the hot pavement. i'm telling myself the late nights and the distilled beverages didn't help; i was aiming for 6:49's.

the aliens might also be doing some other weird stuff. for the past week+, usually at bedtime (10-11pm), it feels like my heart is racing but my pulse is normal. yeah yeah, i need to call a doctor. i tried to monday but they put me on hold for 7 minutes so i hung up. i won't lie, i am a little afraid to run because i don't want to collapse from a heart attack at the old age of 26.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

may 2011

may 2011
total mileage: 107.24
time spent running: 16hrs 09min
days off: 13 (i am really good at taking time off)
avg temp: 70.68
trip of the month: wisconsin, duh. though i also went zip-lining in the north carolina mountains, but that was only a day trip.

marathon #10
another decent 5k
yikes i skipped a lot of days 

no cookies this month, but i did make a lemon ice box pie. i'm told it tastes good - i can't eat it because i'm allergic to everything in it. it's an extremely easy recipe (although not very healthy): 1 can sweetened condensed milk, 1 tub cool whip, 1/2 cup lemon juice; mix all together and plop on top of your crust (i use nilla wafers, that takes way more effort than a pre-made crust). chill in fridge/freezer until set.